Watchmen Actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Opens Up on the Challenge of Playing Doctor Manhattan

Watchmen‘s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II opened up about the challenges of playing Doctor Manhattan in the show. It isn’t easy being blue it seems as the star had to accept the role and beginning filming the early material without this secret knowledge. The moment where the reveal happens absolutely set the Internet on fire. A lot of media personalities congratulated the show on being able to hide such a secret in plain sight the entire time. Mateen’s social media post where he’s just laughing uncontrollably in the backseat of a car basically said it all. Keeping that secret is usually the focus of his comments about the role. But in a conversation with Deadline, he talked about being Doctor Manhattan as a way to fulfill an actor’s dream. There’s a lot of layers to a being that might as well be God. He described the challenges of that weight in depth.

“Damon [Lindelof] brought me in his office and revealed that to me, and of course, I had the moment of disbelief and excitement, and things like that,” he explained “But then I was very, very excited about the opportunity to transform it and make it a different character. I get up to Episode 6 and I’m working on my version of Doctor Manhattan, saying, ‘Wow, I get to play two different characters.'”

In some other moments, the star had to dig into the material to figure out what made the Doctor tick. When Mateen figured out what he was supposed to be doing, he surmised that this was more than meets the eye. Oh, I’m not playing two characters. I’m actually playing four,” he observed. Multiple Dr. Manhattans at once, and then Cal on top of all of that.

Mateen shared, “So, this job, for me, was really an actor’s dream. I got to do a lot of character work. I got to do work that was rooted in very important history, but I got to do physical work; I got to do vocal work, and really challenge myself to test my limits, so that I could show as much variety as the story required, and that was really an actor’s gift for myself, to be able to flex those muscles a bit.”


Well, there’s plenty of muscle there already, and fans can look forward to seeing him in the upcoming Matrix 4.

What did you think of his performance as Doctor Manhattan? Let us know in the comments!

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