Yahya Abdul-Mateen talks shooting Matrix 4 during 'these crazy pandemic days'
The actor was awarded the Distinguished Performance Award at SCAD Savannah Film Festival 2020.
This weekend, the Emmy-winning Watchmen star virtually accepted the Distinguished Performance Award at SCAD Savannah Film Festival 2020 and participated in a Q&A with this writer. During the conversation, Abdul-Mateen opened up about playing Black Panther cofounder Bobby Seale in Trial of the Chicago 7 and what it's been like shooting Matrix 4 at a time like this.
"There's nothing that can compare," he said of filming a movie during a pandemic. "We’re making something really cool here on Matrix 4 that I think a lot of people will be excited about. But we’re doing it in the same way that everyone else in the world hopefully is. We’re trying to be safe and respectful."
In fact, the project has been a real source of comfort for the 34-year-old actor because it has allowed him to be close to people at a time when he can't see his loved ones.
"Our artistry right now is actually community building. It’s sort of the thing that’s keeping us strong, keeping us together while a lot of are away from home," said Abdul-Mateen. "So, we get to say, 'Hey, I’m going to get up and go to work and I’m going to do my art and build community at the same time.' That’s really the theme of how we’re making the Matrix, but it’s also the theme of how myself, personally, I'm getting through these pandemic days, these crazy pandemic days."
As of right now, details about the movie's plot are being kept under wraps. Helmed by Lana Wachowski, who co-directed and co-wrote the first three Matrix installments with sister Lilly Wachowski, Matrix 4 stars Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Jada Pinkett Smith, all of whom will reprise their roles from the previous movies. The film is currently set to open in theaters on Dec. 22, 2021.
Until then, you can catch Abdul-Mateen in Netflix's The Trial of the Chicago 7, available now, and in Nia DaCosta's long-awaited Candyman on Aug. 27, 2021.
Watch the entire Q&A discussion above.