Yahya Abdul-Mateen II stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday, where he talked about his meteoric success ahead of his starring role in Candyman. Part of that success means getting used to rubbing shoulders with his fellow A-listers. According to the Watchmen star, he learned that lesson the hard way courtesy of an awkward encounter with none other than Jay-Z,
“Jay-Z throws this party, the Gold Party, and he throws it every year for the Oscars, and I got an invitation,” the actor told Fallon via Zoom. “I’m in my tux, I’m dressed up, I’m feelin’ good, and one of my favorite songs comes on. It’s a Juvenile song. I hop on the stage, and I’m dancing, I’m sweating, and...I loose all my scruples. I look over, and Jay-Z looks at me dead in my eyes. No judgment or anything, but he’s looking at me, and I saw myself through his eyes. [So] I thought I should probably get off stage, play it cool.”
Embarrassing moments aside, Abdul-Mateen said he’s grateful to be in his position. He spoke about the Candyman reboot, which takes place 30 years after the original film. “I think it’s a refreshing take on Candyman,” he said. “By going back to Chicago 30 years after it gives us a chance to talk about some of the social issues that affect Chicago while also at the same time giving the fans some of the things they know and love about Candyman. The frightening moments. The hard elements that people have come to know for a long time. But we get to put our own fresh twist on it also.”
After multiple delays, Candyman finally hits theaters on August 27. Check out Abdul-Mateen’s full interview above.