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The Suicide Squad’s David Dastmalchian Recalls Special Moment That Brought Him To Tears On The Set Of James Gunn’s Movie

Polka-Dot Man unleashing his deadly polka dots against enemies during an ambush in The Suicide Squad

As with any superhero flick, special effects are very much a part of the moviegoing experience. And of course, The Suicide Squad was no exception given its action-packed scenes and CGI-created characters. But not all the characters were fully aided by computer-generated effects. The Suicide Squad’s David Dastmalchian got to experience special effects in a way that touched the actor. Dastmalchian recalled the special moment that brought him to tears while shooting the James Gunn movie.

Out of all the characters, David Dastmalchian’s awkward Polka-Dot Man became the unlikely fan-favorite from The Suicide Squad. Of course, Dastmalchian was no stranger to superhero movies. But the DC film allowed him to realize a lifelong dream. The Suicide Squad star revealed how James Gunn tapped into his love of practical effects.

Going back to my lifelong passion for horror, I always wanted to be Lon Chaney. Since I was a kid, I wanted to do that kind of work… James really insisted on having his effects as practical as possible in the film to help us in performance, and also for the style of film that he wanted to make, so the makeup is completely done practically. That is latex and wires and lights. I mean, my face really would light up and I looked like a walking Christmas tree version of the Elephant Man at points. It was insane, and it was so cool. And the first time that I did the makeup, and I went down to do my camera tests with James, I had tears in my eyes. I was so excited because it was my Lon Chaney moment. That was a lifelong dream.

It was nice to know The Suicide Squad allowed David Dastmalchian to fulfill a childhood dream. Dealing with practical effects can be a major undertaking, but it seemed like the actor was more than up for the challenge. In a way, Dastmalchian paid homage to Lon Chaney’s work. Chaney’s usage of makeup in horror can still be seen in film today even as computer-generated effects become the norm. So, the Dune star got to live out all his practical effects desires. Specifically, Polka-Dot man had his glowing sores throughout the movie's runtime.

Besides mixing practical and computer effects, David Dastmalchian pointed out why playing the character was even more special on a personal level. Dastmalchian divulged to Looper that Polka-Dot Man’s effects were handled by his friend effects artist Greg Funk. He recalled the experience as “a treat one” working with Funk and his partner. The actor seemed to enjoy working with them to fulfill his lifelong dream.

Hopefully, David Dastmalchian will get to channel his inner Lon Chaney more often through his current slate of projects. If you want to see Dastmalchian’s Polka-Dot Man in action, you can watch The Suicide Squad currently in theaters and on HBO Max.

Adreon Patterson

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).