David Dastmalchian Revisits Suicidal Past and School Bullying for 'The Suicide Squad' Role
Warner Bros. Pictures

The Polka-Dot Man depicter channeled the painful memories from his school days and struggle with depression and drug abuse for his DC anti-hero character.

AceShowbiz - David Dastmalchian was once a suicidal drug addict struggling with a skin condition and deep depression very much like his "The Suicide Squad" star character Polka-Dot Man.

Fans might recognise the actor from previous stints in "The Dark Knight", "Ant-Man", and TV series "The Flash", but it's his dour, polka-dot-suited character that has made him a fan favourite this year.

His role as the sad-sack member of the anti-hero team is important to him for more reasons than heightened visibility - David had far more common with the comic-book character than even director James Gunn, who wrote the part with him in mind, could have imagined.

Dastmalchian says two aspects of his character's life instantly resonated with him.

"The first was his struggle with morbid depression, which I have battled the majority of my life," he told NME.com. "In the past, I felt so plagued by my inner darkness, and by my feelings of shame, isolation and despair, that I attempted to take my life several times."

The actor, who also appeared in David Lynch's "Twin Peaks: The Return", said he understood why the villain would want to go on a mission that meant certain death, "He's grateful for it, because he's finally going to get to end his suffering - and that's a feeling I knew deeply."

He also related to the character's embarrassment over his colour-splotched skin, because he has suffered from childhood with vitiligo.

"It means I'm incredibly vulnerable to the sun and I have these large white spots like a leopard all over my body," he shared.

He is now at peace with the condition, but he was bullied as a kid. He channelled those painful memories into Polka-Dot Man's profound awkwardness in his own skin.

In 2018, he told The Hollywood Reporter he became a "daily drug user" in high school to self-medicate his "undiagnosed depression issues." As an adult, he became a heroin addict living out of his car.

"Getting the mental health treatment I needed is my greatest accomplishment, and my sobriety of 19 years is a huge part of that," said the actor.

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