Yahya Abdul-Mateen II starstruck by Keanu Reeves
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Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was starstruck by Keanu Reeves when he started work on “The Matrix 4” and heard the actor in character for the first time.
The 35-year-old actor has an undisclosed role in the upcoming sequel and admitted he felt flustered when he heard the franchise lead - who reprises his role as Neo in the movie - speak on set for the first time.
He recalled: “I remember Keanu and his first line. I looked up, and there was Keanu, and I said, ‘Oh s***, I’m really in 'The Matrix'.'
"It was just Keanu in that voice."
And Yahya praised writer-and-director Lana Wachowski for her "ambitious" use of technology on the project.
He added to The Hollywood Reporter: "And the technology that Lana incorporated and the filmmaking, camera rigs that I’ve never seen before. It’s so ambitious.
"It was really interesting to be making 'The Matrix 4' at a time when the world was so warped and when reality was so distorted. It could creep in a little bit if you let it.”
Yahya is also gearing up for a return as Black Manta in “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” and he's teased he thinks the sequel will be better than 2018's “Aquaman”.
He said: "I think the script is better than it was in the first one. It gives the actors a lot of good storytelling moments."
The actor was also pleased he gets the chance to show off his character in greater depth.
He said: "In 'Aquaman', we just got a small introduction to Black Manta and to some of his motivations. In this one, I get to exercise and breathe a little bit more. I’m showing some different colours with this one."
Yahya admitted he enjoys playing the bad guy.
He said: “The bad guy is always more interesting to explore.”