After last week’s brief, and delightful, sidestep into a musical episode, this week’s episode of “The Flash” is back to the task — stopping Savitar and saving Iris (Candice Patton).
The latest installment introduces the classic Flash villain Abra Kadabra (David Dastmalchian), a character who shares similarities with the Reverse Flash in that he is also from the future — the 64th century to be exact — and is familiar with the hero that Barry (Grant Gustin) will become. The time-traveling magician heads back to 2017 this week with some information the team is desperate to have — the identity of Savitar.
Variety spoke with Dastmalchian about his take on Abra Kadabra, whether the villain is here to help or harm, and more.
You’ve been in a bunch of other comic book-related films and shows before, but never really played a character with abilities. How did it feel to have powers this time around?
It’s awesome! It’s so much fun. I put on that costume for the first time, and I started playing with some of the magic and tech, and utilizing the powers that Abra wields in the actual scenes. That is some of the most fun that I’ve ever had as an actor. It awoke that 12-year-old in me who used to spend his lawn mowing money on stacks of comics every Saturday, and let me step into that world. It’s the dream, man. Aside from the time I get to spend with my family it doesn’t get any better than that.
In the past, Abra Kadabra has been portrayed at times as campy and others pretty dark. Where does your version of the character fall?
As a lifelong comic-lover, I’ve been familiar with Abra over the years. We definitely framed the portrayal of this character in a darker, more sinister tone, but underneath all that there is the showman. What’s so fascinating about this guy is he’s using this tech to travel through time and put on a show. He’s got the tech, he’s got the ability … he could really just go after Flash if he wanted in all-out war, but instead it’s all about the show.
Being from the future, Abra is familiar with Flash later in his career. What’s his take on this younger, less seasoned version of Barry?
He’s a bit surprised at how young and green the Flash is. When they first interact — because Abra knows Barry’s identity — he sees him and is a little taken aback. That doesn’t change how much he despises Barry thanks to their experiences in the future. Abra revels in the fact that he gets the opportunity to wreak havoc on Flash at such a formative moment in his life. If all goes according to plan, Abra could ruin the Flash for decades to come.
It’s hinted that Abra also knows the identity of Savitar. He didn’t come back to help Barry, did he?
I can only answer you in saying, don’t believe everything you see until the smoke clears and you see the trick Abra ultimately pulls off. Savitar is the greatest speedster in Abra’s mind. He is the speedster. Abra has a great deal of respect for him; not so much for Barry or any of the others.