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Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Recalls Going Out And Celebrating Matrix 4 Casting While In The Middle Of Watchmen Press

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in The Matrix Resurrections
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s starpower has been steadily growing over the past few years. He’s got a number of highly anticipated film projects coming down the line, including The Matrix Resurrections. And Abdul-Mateen recently recalled going out and celebrating that casting while in the middle of press for Watchmen.

HBO’s Watchmen series was universally acclaimed, as was Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s dual performance as Cal/ Doctor Manhattan. He would win an Emmy for this role, making way for even more work from the actor. Abdul-Mateen recently opened up about auditioning for the part of Morpheus in The Matrix Resurrections, saying:

I went after that one. I went after that. I had an audition. I got something in my box and I was like, 'OK this is what we doing.' I locked myself in a room for a couple of days, working on the material, flew out to Los Angeles, had a meeting with Lana Wachowski, who sat out, we talked for about an hour. And then we went through an acting session for about half an hour. Did it again the next day. Less than a week later I got a phone call saying that I was --trying to be really careful with my words --that I was welcomed to the team! That was the process.

And just like that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was able to join yet another massive franchise with The Matrix 4. It sounds like he really put the work into the material, and also had good chemistry with creator/director Lana Wachowski. We’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out in the mysterious fourth movie.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s comments come from his recent appearance on the podcast Jemele Hill is  Unbothered. Now that The Matrix 4 has released its first trailer, there are even more questions about what Lana Wachowski has in store for fans in the new sequel. Abdul-Matteen was careful to continue guarding the secrets of the blockbuster, and there’s no telling what he’ll be bringing to the table as Morpheus-- the role originated by the great Laurence Fishburne.

Later in his same interview, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II went on to share how he celebrated landing a dream job in The Matrix Resurrections. There was just one complication: he was in the middle of press for Watchmen when he landed the role. As he explained,

I was forced to go out and celebrate that. Had some drinks. I did, I called my Momma and let her know, but I probably was about to go to sleep and get ready for press the next day; I had press for Watchmen or something like that, you know I'm always thinking ahead and trying to plan. I was definitely forced to stop what I was doing, to come out, to have drinks to have shots and to have a good time. I'm so glad I did that because that's what I remember most about that moment.

It was the fall of 2019 when Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was cast in The Matrix 4, the same time that Watchmen was gearing up for its series premiere. And while he originally wanted to stay home and get to bed early, Abdul-Mateen II is now glad that he went out to celebrate. After all, it sounds like a very exciting time in the 35 year-old actor’s life.

As previously mentioned, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is taking on the mantle of Morpheus in The Matrix Resurrections. It’s currently unclear how/why Lana Wachowski is putting a new spin on the character, but she found a killer actor to step into those shoes. Even if Laurence Fishburne is bummed he wasn’t asked to join the cast.

Our questions will be answered soon as The Matrix Resurrections will arrive in theaters and HBO Max on December 22nd. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.