Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is making his mark.
The 34-year-old is on the new cover of Men’s Health, and in the issue, talks about his experiences of racism, as well as his sharp rise to stardom in the past year.
Abdul-Mateen made a splash in HBO’s “Watchmen”; now he’s got “Candyman” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7” on the way, plus the hotly anticipated new entry in the “Matrix” saga in production.
Talking about George Floyd’s death and the ensuing protests, the actor says, “Being a Black man in America means one has to learn to hoard as many resources as possible for survival. In the story of that one afternoon in Culver City, I experienced feeling loneliness, depression, frustration with system oppression, anxiety about expressing anger in a Black body, helplessness.”
Abdul-Mateen is currently shooting “The Matrix 4”, but he questions whether his time would be better served in the streets protesting.
“Right now I’m in Germany for five months—I’m here filming ‘The Matrix 4’, and ‘The Matrix’ is dope. It’s great to be gainfully employed and to know that I can walk into any room and hold my own,” he says. ‘But back in America, we need soldiers on the front lines marching. We need warriors willing to uphold the promise of ‘No Justice, No Peace.’ We need people like myself with a platform to continue to speak out and to be standing and doing the right thing. And so sometimes I question whether or not I’m doing the right thing by being away from America right now. I donate my money, my time. I use my platform to amplify others’ voices, and sometimes that feels like it isn’t enough. I want to be on the ground. The people I love, my family, my close friends, the Black women in my life—they tell me to be kind to myself, to stay informed, and to stay ready. So that’s what I try to do for now.”