19 Fun Facts About Yahya Abdul Mateen II

The wonder that is Yahya Abdul Mateen II.

We’ve seen him in many movies and TV shows before and now it’s time to dive into the life of this talented thespian.


Mateen was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on July 15, 1986.

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He grew up in Oakland, California where his family moved to shortly after his birth.

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Mateen was born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother.

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He is named after the Islamic prophet Yahya, commonly identified as John the Baptist.


He has a tattoo of two stick figures holding hands on his right wrist to represent him and his father, and a tattoo of ladybug on his left to represent his mom.

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He went to University of California, Berkeley where he majored in architecture.

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He was a student athlete at Berkeley and used to run hurdles for the university’s team California Golden Bears.

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His first formal job was as a city planner in San Francisco.

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He lost his job in the 2008 recession and that’s when he thought of taking up acting.


He went to Yale School of Drama for his actor training.

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At Yale, he was given the clown name Sweet Potato Foodie.

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His favorite downtime activity is to binge watch The Office.

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His acting career was kickstarted by Baz Luhrmann’s musical drama series The Get Down that came out in 2016 on Netflix.

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His first proper movie was The Vanishing of Sidney Hall that came out in 2017.

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His most critically acclaimed movie was The Trial of the Chicago 7 in which he played the founder of Black Panther Party, Bobby Seale.

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Other movies where you might have seen Mateen are Baywatch, Us, Aquaman, The Greatest Showman, First Match, and Boundaries.

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He won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for his role in HBO’s Watchmen.

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Mateen didn’t know how to swim when he was casted as David Kane/Black Manta in Aquaman.

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