With playing a great DC Comics villain comes great responsibility for Aquaman's Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
Abdul-Mateen II has a smaller role in Aquaman than other villains but does earn himself some time in the iconic Black Manta costume fans of DC Comics have grown to love over the years. However, portraying such a character is much more than wearing a costume, though Abdul-Mateen II believes the fans simply want to see that element.
"The fans love this guy," Abdul-Mateen II told ComicBook.com in the video above. "They don't love me. They love Black Manta, you know what I mean? They're like look you can go somewhere else, Black Manta is our priority."
Immediately upon being cast in the role, the actor felt the responsibility, and wanted to do his best to deliver. "I knew that this was a guy that people love and people relate to for whatever reasons," Abdul-Mateen II said. "They know that he's a bad-ass character. They know about his anger, about the destruction. That he's a funny character. They love the costume and you never know what he's going to do when he shows up. And so to be able to step into it and to add a lot of those elements to the things that I was going after, it was really, really a phenomenal experience."
The suit itself was "not very intuitive" according to the actor. "You think you're looking straight and you're actually looking up. And then you have to look down in order to look straight and you kind of have to muscle it around. What I always say is that you have to tell the suit what to do."
Should Abdul-Mateen II be fortunate enough to play the DC villain in future cinematic endeavors, there are certain aspects of the characters which he really wants to exploit. "[Black Manta] has an opportunity to show up anywhere where Aquaman is," he said. "Anywhere where he has a device or plot to get back to Aquaman, he's going to use it. So he can show up wherever. But when he does I hope that we get to see more of his wit and more of the comedic parts of Black Manta and see more of the things that make him that I know and the human that the fans and the people in this universe have grown to love over the years."
Aquaman hits theaters on December 21, 2018.