With more Emmy nominations than any other show, HBO's Watchmen has been a game-changer this television season. Given the strong performance and the size and importance of his role, few fans were surprised to see that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who played Doctor Manhattan in the series, ended up with a nomination for Best Supporting Actor in the limited series based on the graphic novel from artist Dave Gibbons and DC. Abdul-Mateen, however, seemed a little surprised -- or at least very, very excited -- to learn of the nomination, and the world was lucky enough for Abdul-Mateen to have a camera there for the moment.
The actor, who also had to play the mild-mannered Cal, husband to (fellow nominee) Regina King's Angela Abar, kept it cool while he scrolled through the list of nominees. Just, y'know -- not for long.
You can check it out below, via BET's Twitter account
Recently, Watchmen -- which dealt with racial justice in a visceral and often emotionally draining way -- has drawn praise for its prescience, as 21st Centurn America seems to be finally reckoning with some of the very issues it raises in-story.
"To watch people watch Watchmen and then have new, more sophisticated conversations about the importance of telling the history of the Tulsa massacre -- calling it a massacre not a race riot -- fills me with pride," Abdul-Mateen II told GQ Middle East. "And with what's happened to George Floyd, there's a domino effect: now, we don't have the excuse to ignore that part of history or say we weren't educated."
Abdul-Mateen II also went on to explain that Watchmen, and indeed entertainment on a larger scale, offers an opportunity to expand the conversation to wider audiences, something he's glad to be part of.0comments
"Some people turn the channel saying they're not watching our f---ing show," he said. "I may not have access to the demographic who choose to see something like our version of Watchmen and unfollow me on Instagram because they don't share my beliefs. They'll see the message from me, they'll see my work, and they'll actively reject it as leftist propaganda. This is America, so they have zero reason to listen to me. But I can talk to my white friends and wider audiences who are enlightened and inspired to then go have uncomfortable conversations with relatives and co-workers. So, I'm fortunate to be a part of that progress."
The winners of this year’s Emmy Awards will be unveiled September 20 live on ABC, in a livestreamed ceremony hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. In the meantime, if you haven't seen it yet (and sorry about the huge spoiler here on Doctor Manhattan if that's the case), you can find the show on HBO Max.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.