Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Talks About His Matrix 4 Role And Audition

"No one understands the Matrix except for Keanu Reeves and Lana Wachowski," Abdul-Mateen said.

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Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is everywhere lately, from his turn as the villainous Black Manta in Aquaman and his Emmy award-winning role in HBO's Watchmen, to his most recent role as Bobby Seale in Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7. One of his biggest roles is yet to come, though, as one of the stars of the Matrix 4. Abdul-Mateen talked about the role in a new interview with Variety, and about his unusual audition process for it.

"No one understands the Matrix except for Keanu Reeves and Lana Wachowski," Abdul-Mateen said. With that mystery in mind, the actor continued, "you learn to find meaning [in your role], and then you go test it out. If no one says anything, then you just trust that you ended up doing the right thing."

The audition process lasted two days, but Abdul-Mateen said it wasn't grueling as one might assume for a kung-fu sci-fi epic. "Lana and I did more conversing than we did acting in the audition because she's building a family," Abdul-Mateen said. When Wachoswki called him to tell him he got the part, the actor said that she told him, "I would love to invite you to the family."

"I had the biggest smile in the world," Abdul-Mateen said. "I was on top of the world, man."

The interview goes into Abdul-Mateen's time as Bobby Seale, too, as well as his own future, which Abdul-Mateen said will hopefully include directing with a focus on New Orleans or West Oakland.

"I want to do something fun, I want to do something with music, and something epic," he said of his future plans. "These people are larger than life. We live larger than life. We experience the hihgest highs and lowest lows and we're resilient."

The Matrix 4 is scheduled to hit theaters on December 22, 2022 after COVID-related delays pushed it out of its April 1, 2022 spot, as it did with so many other films.

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