David Dastmalchian details his emotional transformation into a polka dot man in the Suicide Squad

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I don’t know how introverted or shy Polka-Dot Man was in the comics, but there’s this scene where Peacemaker calls you Norman Bates. And if not Norman, were there any characters from past movies that helped you brief Abner in any way?

Oh, a lot. I mean, in his most distorted state, there’s a John Merrick [“The Elephant Man”] quality, to be bullied and abused like John Merrick was. There is something about the characters in the David Cronenberg films who have these abilities and powers, like they can use them in “Scanners” which seem to be out of their control and do more damage than they can do. good. He is a bit “The Fly” in the sense that experiences have been made that have transformed him.

But all of my research, to be completely honest, was about myself. I mean, I really did what James asked me to do, which is to allow myself to be present as much as possible during Abner’s performance. Because I know what it’s like to be morbidly depressed. I struggled with this, and almost lost my bout with depression, and luckily that was years ago and now I’m in a much better place, but I really know what it feels like to want to die like Abner does. . I know how it feels to be ashamed of your body. I have a skin condition called vitiligo, which is an autoimmune disease that corrodes the pigmentation in my skin.

Suddenly, I have spots all over my body and my face, which I used to color quite intensely. And now I just started to let go because I’m so at peace with it. But when I was growing up, I was teased a lot with my spots and called “Polka Dots”, and they had a lot of nicknames for that. So yeah, instead of really looking at too many other characters, it was about looking inward and trying to be as much myself as possible.

Well hopefully David – and I don’t want to laugh at that – but hopefully now those people who teased you and called you “Polka Dots” you can now say: “Hey, Polka Dot this! “

[Laughs] I will say for sure that anyone who has made me heartbroken for spending all my money mowing the lawn in comics at Clint’s Comics in Kansas City can kiss my comic book director butt now, because I have definitely transformed. this passion in career!

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