David Dastmalchian

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David Dastmalchian
Born (1977-07-21) July 21, 1977 (age 43)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
EducationDePaul University (BFA)
Years active2005–present

David Dastmalchian (/dəsˈmɔːlən/[1]) is an American actor. In Chicago, he received acclaim for lead roles in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie and Sam Shepard's Buried Child at Shattered Globe Theatre.[2] He also played Kurt in Marvel Studios' Ant-Man (2015) and its sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), Murdoc in CBS's MacGyver, and Abra Kadabra in The CW's The Flash. He is a frequent collaborator of director Denis Villeneuve, having appeared in three of his films.

Early life[edit]

Dastmalchian was born in Pennsylvania, and raised in Overland Park, Kansas, where he attended Shawnee Mission South High School.[3] He studied at The Theatre School at DePaul University.[4] He is of Iranian,[5][6] Italian, Irish and English descent. Prior to beginning his career as an actor, he suffered from a heroin addiction for five years before getting clean. He wrote about his experience in his screenplay Animals.[3]


Dastmalchian's feature film debut came in the late 2000s, as the Joker's deranged henchman Thomas Schiff, in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. His portrayal of Bob Taylor in Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners[7] received strong reviews. Richard Corliss of Time called Dastmalchian's performance "excellent – chatty, modest with some subtle telltale psychopathy" and The Guardian's Paul MacInnes likened his introduction as a new suspect to Kevin Spacey's entrance in Seven.[8] He has roles in two other films by Villeneuve, appearing in Blade Runner 2049 and Dune.

In March 2014, Dastmalchian was awarded the Special Jury Prize for Courage in Storytelling at the South by Southwest Film Festival. He wrote and starred in the feature film Animals, directed by Collin Schiffli. Ashley Moreno of The Austin Chronicle credits Dastmalchian's screenplay with "present[ing] an authenticity often lacking in films about drug abuse."[9] Film Threat's Brian Tallerico similarly sings the praises of Dastmalchian's breakout performance, noting his ability to "capture that sense of self-loathing that comes through in the body language of an addict without overselling it."[10]

Other feature film appearances include starring roles in the psychological thriller The Employer,[11] the indie grindhouse hit Sushi Girl, the drama Cass (winner, San Diego Black Film Festival), Girls Will Be Girls 2012 (sequel to the cult hit Girls Will Be Girls), Saving Lincoln, Virgin Alexander and the Peyton Reed-helmed Marvel Studios film Ant-Man.

Dastmalchian appeared in Michel Franco's Chronic. He has been on television as Simon on the Fox sci-fi series Almost Human episode "Simon Says", as a chess expert and murder suspect on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and as Oz Turner on the BBC series Intruders. Other television appearances include the FX comedy The League, the Showtime series Ray Donovan, and NBC's medical drama ER.

Dastmalchian portrayed DC Comics villain Abra Kadabra in seasons 3 and 7 of The Flash.[12] He also returned for the Ant-Man sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)[13] and will appear as Polka-Dot Man in The Suicide Squad (2021).[14]



Year Title Role Notes
2008 The Dark Knight Thomas Schiff
2009 Horsemen Terrence
2012 Say When Damon
2012 Cass Joshua Whitmore
2012 Virgin Alexander Hank
2012 Sushi Girl Nelson
2012 Singled Out Luke
2013 Saving Lincoln Major Eckert
2013 The Employer James Harris
2013 Prisoners Bob Taylor
2014 Animals Jude Writer
SXSW Film Festival – Special Jury Prize Winner
2014 Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie Sergeant L. J. Ng Cameo
2015 Chronic Bernard
2015 Ant-Man Kurt
2017 The Belko Experiment Lonny
2017 Blade Runner 2049 Coco
2018 Ant-Man and the Wasp Kurt
2018 Bird Box Whistling Marauder
2018 A Million Little Pieces Roy
2018 The Domestics Willy Cunningham
2018 Relaxer Cam
2018 All Creatures Here Below Gensan Also writer
2019 Teacher James Lewis
2019 Madness in the Method The Witness
2019 Jay and Silent Bob Reboot SWAT officer
2021 Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One Julian Day / Calendar Man Direct-to-video; voice role[15]
2021 The Suicide Squad Abner Krill / Polka-Dot Man Post-production
2021 Dune Piter De Vries Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2008 ER Young Man Episode: "Heal Thyself"
2012 The League Morgue Worker Episode: "Judge MacArthur"
2013 Ray Donovan English Teacher Episode: "Black Cadillac"
2014 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Lee Crosby Episode: "Killer Moves"
2014 Almost Human Simon Episode: "Simon Says"
2014 Intruders Oz Turner Episode: "She Was Provisional"
2015 CSI: Cyber Logan Reeves Episode: "Family Secrets"
2016 12 Monkeys Kyle Slade Episodes: "Bodies of Water", "Immortal"
2016–present MacGyver Murdoc Recurring role, 11 episodes
2017 Gotham Dwight Pollard Episodes: "Ghosts" and "Smile Like You Mean It"
2017–2021 The Flash Abra Kadabra Episodes: "Abra Kadabra" and "Central City Strong"
2017 Twin Peaks Pit Boss Warrick Episodes: "The Return, Part 4", "The Return, Part 5" and "The Return, Part 10"[16]
2017 Svengoolie Himself Studio guest, 2 appearances
2019 Reprisal Johnson Main role

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2012 "Constant Conversations" Himself Passion Pit video
2018 "Catch It" Himself Iceage video
2018 "Dark Speed" Failure video
2020 "Sword and Shield" Ken Andrews Video


  1. ^ "2017 Planet Comicon Kansas City interview with actor David Dastmalchian". May 9, 2017. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  2. ^ "David Dastmalchian Theatre Credits and Profile". abouttheartists.com. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Niccum, Jon (May 9, 2015). "David Dastmalchian goes from addiction to 'Ant-Man' and beyond". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  4. ^ "The Theatre School News". Theatre.depaul.edu. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  5. ^ Samo, R. C. (July 2, 2019). "David Dastmalchian Talks about his New Thriller, 'Teacher'". FanboyNation Magazine. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  6. ^ https://twitter.com/dastmalchian/status/818293348762984449. Retrieved June 5, 2020 – via Twitter. Missing or empty |title= (help)[non-primary source needed]
  7. ^ "Variety article: 'Prisoners' finds Dastmalchian". Variety. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
  8. ^ Paul MacInnes. "Prisoners: Toronto 2013 – first look review". The Guardian. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  9. ^ "SXSW Film Review: 'Animals'". Austinchronicle.com. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  10. ^ "Animals – Review". Archived from the original on February 4, 2015. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  11. ^ "Quiet Earth article: Malcolm-McDowell-puts-applicants-through-hell-in-THE-EMPLOYER". Quietearth.us. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
  12. ^ Bryant, Jacob. "'The Flash': David Dastmalchian Teases Abra Kadabra's Plans to 'Wreak Havoc'". Variety.
  13. ^ Moore, Rose. "Ant-Man & The Wasp: David Dastmalchian Confirmed to Return". Screen Rant.
  14. ^ Goldberg, Matt (April 29, 2019). "'The Suicide Squad' Casts David Dastmalchian as Outlandish Villain". Collider. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  15. ^ Couch, Aaron (March 31, 2021). "'Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One' Sets Voice Cast (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
  16. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 4, 2016). "'Twin Peaks' Reboot Adds Patrick Fischler & David Dastmalchian". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 8, 2016.

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