Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Covers Essence / Salutes Black Women

Published: Wednesday 23rd Jun 2021 by Sam

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is ready for his close-up and receives exactly that on the cover of Essence magazine’s latest issue.

It’s a season of shine for the 35-year-old actor, who is gearing up for the release of ‘Candyman’ – which he stars in as the lead.

Following the film’s August arrival, he’ll next be seen in ‘Matrix 4’ alongside Keanu Reeves.

Before all of that, check out Yahya’s Essence Summer Screen Kings photoshoot below, where quotes – including his views on the importance of Black women – also await…

ON BLACK WOMEN: “Black women in my life, they protect me and speak life into me. They put their arms around me. It’s been an honor for me to take them on this journey, to celebrate them. Any time I have a win, it’s a win for them”

ON WHAT IT REALLY MEANS TO BE SEXY: “I don’t think sexy tries. Ease is sexy. It’s nice to have a little bit of mystery, and if I’m being perfectly honest, it’s not for me to say whether I’m attractive or not. It’s for me to have self-confidence. Confidence is sexy…”

ON HOW HIS CURIOSITY DREW HIM TO ACTING: “I wasn’t itching to be a star or anything like that. I wasn’t thinking about movies or television. I just started following my curiosity…I got here by staying curious, by staying humble, and also knowing that there’s so much more that I want to do…I think I’ve done a lot on other people’s terms. I’ve been able to step into projects that were already written before my name was attached, and I’m so thankful that I was able to step in and support those projects. But now I’m at a place where I’m looking to come into rooms with my own ideas, and develop those ideas and tell my own stories. I think that’s the next chapter…”

ON WHETHER A ROM-COM IS IN HIS FUTURE: “We need more romance…We have adventure. We have action. We’ve got a lot of stories about trauma, because trauma is very present in our world right now. But we also need love. We need more straight-up, old-school romance. I don’t mind putting my hand up and stepping into that place to say, ‘I’ll be your man, girl.’ I don’t mind that at all…”

ACTRESS/DIRECTOR REGINA KING ON YAHYA’S DEDICATION TO THE WOMEN IN HIS LIFE: “That man talks about his sisters and his mother with so much love and so much appreciation…I think that was one of the reasons why we connected so well. It doesn’t always work that way with actors, that you feel safe enough to be so forthcoming with your personal life, but we did that literally day one. His love for the women in his life, he leads with that…”


Great feature, great talent. We’ve loved watching his ascend and it looks like the coming season will see the glow-up continue.

Your thoughts?

[Photo Credit: Essence / Brad Ogbonna]

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  1. What Would Whitney Do June 23, 2021

    Why he look like meek mills. Whoever he is.

  2. Fancy BISH (FCK Maristench, Danzou The Fool & Clarksdump 🤣) 👊🏽💎💋 June 23, 2021

    He is only talking about the black women/drag queen in his life, not black women/drag queen in general.

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