‘The Suicide Squad’ Star David Dastmalchian Admits Filming Polka-Dot Man Dance Number ‘Was So Weird, Man’

When James Gunn wrote and directed The Suicide Squad, he made it weird. By his own admission, Gunn chose Polka-Dot Man because he’s “the dumbest supervillain of all time.” Gunn took Polka-Dot Man even further with a dance number and if you’ve seen the film now, David Dastmalchian is here to talk about the dance scene.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for The Suicide Squad.]

Polka-Dot Man fires polka-dots
David Dastmalchian | Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Comics

Dastmalchian spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by Zoom on July 18. Now that you’ve seen The Suicide Squad, you may be wondering about Polka-Dot Man’s dance with all the different versions of his mother. Dastmalchian discussed the scene. The Suicide Squad is now in theaters and on HBO Max.

Polka-Dot Man dances with his mothers in ‘The Suicide Squad’

When The Suicide Squad get to Corto Maltese, only a few of them survive. Polka-Dot Man follows Bloodshot (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (John Cena), Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) and a few others. One night they share a round of drinks and dance at a local bar, where Abner Krill (Dastmalchian) imagines all of his dance partners as his mother. 

Suicide Squad: Peacemaker and Ratcatcher 2 hit the dance floora
Daniela Melchior and John Cena | Warner Bros./DC Comics

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“It was weird, man,” Dastmalchian said. “Parts of it had to be choreographed because James and Henry [Braham], our cinematographer, they have such a specific vision in the way that they want these scenes to work, but fortunately Henry was working with the kind of camera where he could get very close and move around me. As anyone who has seen me dance knows, dancing is not listed on my resume under special abilities.”

‘The Suicide Squad’ mother dance was David Dastmalchian freestyling

Even though his mother intrudes upon his fun, the dance scene is one of the few times Polka-Dot Man is enjoying himself in The Suicide Squad. Dastmalchian embraced the moment before things got intense again.

“I am not a very good dancer but neither is Abner so thank goodness, it worked,” Dastmalchian said. “James just turned the music up as loud as it would go on set and he said, ‘Just let go and enjoy yourself. This is Abner, for the first time, he feels like he’s making friends for the first time. He’s letting loose for the first time. He’s having some fun. Let go and let your freak flag fly.’’ And I did my damndest to let my body go and do all the things that it felt like doing.”

Polka-Dot Man’s mother issues

Abner lets slip that he has mother issues early in The Suicide Squad. Later, he reveals that it was his mother who turned him into Polka-Dot Man with experiments at Star Labs. 

Harley Quinn, Polka-Dot Man and Bloodsport run
L-R: David Dastmalchian, Margot Robbie and Idris Elba | Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Comics

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“Abner had, oh man, so many issues and so many things connected to everything, past, trying to be a villain, being a villain, getting thrown in Belle Reve of all places, being stuck on the Suicide Squad… But with all of us, it all comes back to childhood. I think that’s true for every single person. As an actor, I love getting to do backstory work on a character and having James always there to come up with amazing ideas and answers to questions that I would have, what a gift. What a gift.”