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Suicide Squad's David Dastmalchian and Polka-Dot Man share a personal connection

On CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast, comic book royalty Dastmalchian discusses a powerful link to his character that James Gunn didn't even know about during casting.

This story is part of I'm So Obsessed (subscribe here), our podcast featuring interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creative types about their work, career and current obsessions.

If you're a fan of comic books or the TV shows and films based on them, David Dastmalchian is definitely a familiar face. He has appeared in films like The Dark Knight, Ant-Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Blade Runner 2049 and Bird Box. He was in shows like MacGyver, Twin Peaks and The Flash. Dastmalchian will be in the upcoming Disney Plus show What If…? and the Denis Villeneuve film Dune.

But you can see him now as Abner Krill (Polka-Dot Man) in the James Gunn film The Suicide Squad. The film isn't a sequel or reboot of the 2016 film Suicide Squad but includes Margo Robbie as Harley Quinn. On CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast, Dastmalchian shared how he has a personal connection to his character Gunn didn't know about during casting.

David Dastmalchian

David Dastmalchian has a busy 2021 with roles in The Suicide Squad, the Disney Plus series What If...? and Dune.

JSquared Photography

"James did not know this about me when he cast me in his film, but I have a skin condition called vitiligo, which is an autoimmune disorder that erodes the pigment in my skin. And so I have polka dots," said Dastmalchian. "Growing up as a kid going to the pool, others would bully me and call me things like 'polka dots,' or 'spots' or 'Dalmatian.' It was powerful and cathartic for me to get to be Abner and be this guy who's kind of humiliated and has this ridiculous getup."

Beyond the screen, Dark Horse Comics announced that the comic, Count Crowley: Reluctant Midnight Monster Hunter, will return for a second series. Dastmalchian writes the comic, which is about an alcoholic host of a horror movie TV show who hunts monsters. Count Crowley was halted during the pandemic.

You can listen to my entire conversation with Dastmalchian in the podcast player above or on Apple Podcasts. He's incredibly thoughtful, passionate and down-to-earth and was happy to discuss everything he could about The Suicide Squad. And another reason to like him? He made his cat a polka dot costume. He adopted the stray feline after it approached him on The Suicide Squad set in Panama. 

Starting Aug. 5, you can watch The Suicide Squad in theaters or Aug. 6 on HBO Max. You can subscribe to I'm So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. Find out more about Dastmalchian's comic Count Crowley: Reluctant Midnight Monster Hunter through Dark Horse Comics. In each episode of I'm So Obsessed, Connie Guglielmo and I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about their work, career and current obsessions.