Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

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Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con International
Born (1986-07-15) July 15, 1986 (age 32)
Education University of California, Berkeley (BArch)
Yale University (MFA)
Occupation Actor
Years active 2012–present
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (born July 15, 1986)[1] is an American actor, best known for his role Cadillac in the television series The Get Down. He also starred in Baywatch and The Greatest Showman (both 2017), and portrays the villain Black Manta in DC's Aquaman (2018).

Early life and education

Abdul-Mateen was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to a Muslim father, Yahya Abdul-Mateen I (born John Ford) and Christian mother, Mary.[2][1] He spent his childhood in the Magnolia Projects of New Orleans, and then moved to Oakland, California,[3][4] where he attended the McClymonds High School. In 2004, he went to college where he competed as a hurdler for the California Golden Bears.[1] He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in architecture and then worked as a city planner in San Francisco.[5] He'd always wanted to be an actor, so later he got a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama and worked as a stage actor.[4][6]


In 2016, Abdul-Mateen began his career with the Baz Luhrmann's musical drama series The Get Down, which premiered on Netflix. His character Clarence "Cadillac" Caldwell is a prince of the disco world.[6] He was praised for his role in the series.[3][7]

In 2017, Abdul-Mateen appeared in Shawn Christensen's drama film The Vanishing of Sidney Hall, in the role of Duane. It premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.[8]

Abdul-Mateen played a police officer, Garner Ellerbee, in the action comedy film Baywatch along with Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron, and directed by Seth Gordon. The film was released on May 25, 2017.[9] He also played WD Wheeler, a smart hand-to-hand acrobat partner, in the musical film The Greatest Showman (2017), along with Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, and Zac Efron, about the famous American showman P.T. Barnum.[10]

He will also star in the road trip drama film Boundaries, along with Vera Farmiga and Christopher Plummer, directed and written by Shana Feste.[11] In January 2017, Abdul-Mateen was cast as the DC Comics villain Black Manta in the film Aquaman, which started shooting in May in Australia.[12]


Year Title Role Notes
2012 Crescendo Yahya Short film
Also co-producer
2017 The Vanishing of Sidney Hall Duane Jones
Baywatch Sgt. Garner Ellerbee
The Greatest Showman W. D. Wheeler
2018 First Match Darrel
Boundaries Serge
Aquaman David Kane / Black Manta
2019 Us Post-production
All Day & A Night Post-production
TBA Sweetness in the Belly Aziz Filming
Year Title Role Notes
2016–17 The Get Down Clarence "Cadillac" Caldwell 11 episodes
2018 The Handmaid's Tale Omar Episode: "Baggage"
2019 Watchmen TBA Upcoming series


  1. ^ a b c "Yahya Abdul-Mateen". California Golden Bears. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Five Things to Know About Buzzy New Actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II". People. 21 July 2016.
  3. ^ a b Hammer, Mike (August 6, 2016). "Yahya Abdul-Mateen II shines in Netflix's 'The Get Down'". NY Daily News. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Ortved, John (August 6, 2016). "Meet 'The Get Down' lead actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II". GulfNews. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  5. ^ Park, Andrea (August 19, 2016). "How "Get Down" star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II went from architecture to acting". CBS News. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesley (May 28, 2015). "Baz Luhrmann's 'The Get Down' Adds "Disco Prince" to Cast (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  7. ^ Ali, Rasha (August 17, 2016). "'The Get Down' Star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II on Disco, Hip Hop and Tilted Hats (Exclusive Video)". TheWrap. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  8. ^ Berkshire, Geoff (January 26, 2017). "Sundance Film Review: 'Sidney Hall'". Variety. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  9. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (March 2, 2016). "Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Dives Into 'Baywatch'; Jacob Latimore Joins 'Collateral Beauty'". Deadline. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  10. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (October 17, 2016). "Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Joins 'The Greatest Showman On Earth'; Dan Amboyer Cast In 'Brawl In Cell Block 99'". Deadline. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  11. ^ Hipes, Patrick (July 5, 2016). "Ryan Kwanten Joins 'Supercon'; 'The Get Down's Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Books Pair". Deadline. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  12. ^ Kit, Borys (January 31, 2017). "'Aquaman' Finds Its Black Manta Villain With 'Get Down' Actor (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 5, 2017.

External links

  • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II on IMDb
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