Actor David Dastmalchian is no stranger to playing broken characters on the big screen, his first feature credit is as a Joker henchman in The Dark Knight while other roles including the likes of creepy Bob Taylor in Prisoners. For James Gunn's The Suicide Squad he takes on the part of DC's Lamest character of all-time, Polka-Dot Man. Speaking with ComicBook.com and a group of other journalists on the set of the film, Dastmalchian opened up about how he relates to the character, how his powers will come to be an asset for Task Force X, and how as a long time comic book fan he was shocked he didn't remember Polka-Dot Man.
"I was embarrassed, to be honest, because the name sparked a bit of a memory," Dastmalchian said. "Abner is a really wonderful character...I feel like there's some thread between myself and this character in that parts of my life, I think, that I never appreciated or thought anything about what I had to offer maybe was either cool or powerful or interesting, and then certain circumstances arose in my life, and probably my wife and my friends who've made me feel like that. There's this kindredness between me and Abner in that in that sense."
When asked to clarify if that connection between he and his character was a good thing, Dastmalchian offered an exercise: Just say his name out loud.
"He doesn't command a ton of respect out the gate," the actor added. "I think that he's somebody that hasn't ever found much connectivity with people because of certain things that I can't discuss today, but also just because he's Polka Dot Man. That was the thing that worked for him or he thought would work and and so it's interesting. You have a group of exceptionally gifted or talented people at different varying degrees of strength or whatever their particular specialty might be which might be useful. But they're also people that are disposable in a sense to the bigger scheme of operations. And I think he's always felt that way. So even if it's this big fish starting to feel like maybe there's an alliance with some people, it's a new feeling for Abner, that's for sure."
Dastmalchian said that Polka-Dot Man's powers can be seen in two different ways, perhaps as "an ability or as a disability" due in part to that they "cause excruciating amounts of pain and embarrassment." That dichotomy lead to a breakthrough for him in crafting the character.
He added, "How pain can cause a person's body to come inwards, and how shame can cause a person's body to come downward. So it was inward and downward was kind of like finding all my physicality for Abner and the voice grows out of that. So when I start thinking about how to build the character, and think about how his voice would work, and think about how all those mechanisms happen."
The Suicide Squad hits theaters on August 6!