To play Abra Kadabra, one of The Flash’s most storied villains, on The CW’s live-action adaptation of the comic, The Belko Experiment and Ant-Man actor David Dastmalchian trained with a genuine illusionist to hone his magicianship — and dove into comic books to inform the character’s backstory.
Dastmalchian, a lifelong comic book fan who has also appeared in The Dark Knight and Gotham, told ComicBook.com that he was eager to play the role even before he saw a script, but completely won over by Abra’s introduction into The Flash, which will take place tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
He also said that the comics themselves provided the kind of resource that are nearly impossible to replace, giving him decades of different interpretations and a rich backstory to draw from.
“It’s so amazing. You don’t get a better resource than with these kinds of characters,” Dastmalchian told ComicBook.com. “The fact that I have so many comics of my own, but then I got to go through and find either issues with Abra that I didn’t remember or stories that were so far back that they were before I was collecting comics. It was interesting and ironic that when this role came about, I was right in the midst of reading what was going on in Titans, where Abra was causing some serious problems for them, and I was loving it. When this opportunity came, it was kind of serendipitous because in my head I had already been thinking about him recently, creatively.”
Because Abra comes from a future where he’s been battling The Flash for years, Dastmalchian said he was able to incorporate everything he knows about the character into the role.
“For me, it’s no different than if I was playing a historical character,” Dastmalchian explained. “If I’m playing a historical character, it’s different than just a character in a book. This character in the comics has a life that goes through multiple writers, multiple artists, multiple colorists. He’s been brought to life even in animation briefly. He’s even in a video game. It’s like if I was to play somebody in a historical context, I get to go and gather up and think about all that information and that helps motivate all the choices that I’m making. Because he’s such a wonderful, fun character, bringing him to life is magic, for lack of a better term.”