The Flash: David Dastmalchian on Abra Kadabra’s Magic Tricks

We talked to David Dastmalchian about his turn as iconic villain Abra Kadabra on The Flash...

You may recognize this week’s The Flashguest star David Dastmalchian from some of his previous on-screen comic book adaptation appearances. Dastmalchian played one of the Joker’s henchmen in The Dark Knight. More recently, he had a memorable turn as Dwight, one of Jerome’s most fanatic followers on Gotham.

Now, he’s adding to his DC Comics cred with a guest starring role as villain Abra Kadabra on this week’s episode of The Flash

We had a chance to chat with Dastmalchian about his role as Abra on The Flash

The Flash’s Abra is very similar to his comic book character.

In his comic book introduction, Abra Kadabra had quite the comic book set-up. A citizen of the 64th century, Abra longed to have an audience that would appreciate his magic tricks. Thus, he traveled back in time to use future technology to convince audiences of his “magic” tricks. When the accolades from a regular old magic show weren’t enough, Abra turned to a life of crime. We wrote more about his comic book history here.

How similar to comic book canon is Abra Kadabra? Very similar, says Dastmalchian, who started reading comic books himself when he was just a kid. When he got the script for The Flash,he happened to be reading DC Rebirth’s Titans, which features an incarnation of Abra Kadabra as its villain. 

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Dastmalchian said of The Flash‘sAbra Kadabra: “The manifestation that we conjured for the show is, hopefully, pleasing for the audience because I feel like we take the history from the DC mythology … and bring all of that into the world of this show.”

Things are going to get bad for Barry.

Similar to what Oliver is currently dealing with over on Arrow, villains are at their scariest when they know what a hero personally values. For Barry, that is saving Iris’ life (among other things). As we see in the promo, Kadabra knows the identity of Savitar, the dude destined to kill Iris in front of Barry’s eyes (unless he can change the future). And Abra is making considerable use of that future-knowledge and he’s not here “ruffling feathers,” but rather to punish Barry for dashing his dreams in the future.

Knowing what Barry cares about is “part of my bag of tricks,” Dastmalchian teased, because using his knowledge about Barry’s fate is “what makes the show enjoyable — and by ‘show,’ I mean my magic tricks.” Abra could keep Barry in a cage or even kill him, says Dastmalchian, but what would be the point of that for a showman like Abra Kadabra? Abra’s knowledge, paired with his desire to put on a show, “only makes [him] more powerful.”

“And that’s the great thing about working in this medium, one of the many fun things about movies and television shows inspired by comic books, is that they don’t always end with our heroes winning,” said Dastmalchian, adding: “With what I know, all I’ll say is that things are gonna get real bad for Barry.”

Dastmalchian is interested in expanding the character.

Abra Kadabra is a recurring villain in The Flashcomic book canon. Might Dastmalchian be interested in continuing on with the character after tonight’s episode? 

Dastmalchian said he had a lot of fun playing Abra Kadabra on The Flashand would love to come back to The Flash, but that “a magician never reveals his tricks.” (Well played, sir.) For now, he hopes his Abra Kadabra in tonight’s episode stands on its own.

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For more information about the character of Abra Kadabra, check out our complete history of the comic book villain.