Marvel’s David Dastmalchian is Living His Dream with ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ (Interview)
Marvel’s smallest superhero is ready to come home! Ant-Man and The Wasp is now available to own on digital, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD!
Directed by Peyton Reed, the film stars Paul Rudd, and Evangeline Lilly, and follows Scott Lang (Rudd) who is facing the consequences of his choices made during Captain American: Civil War. While under house arrest, he is summoned by Hope van Dyne (Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Academy Award winner Michael Douglas) who need his help to rescue their beloved Janet van Dyne (Academy Award® nominee Michelle Pfeiffer) from the Quantum Realm.
In addition to Rudd, Lilly, Douglas, and Pfeiffer, the film also stars Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, and Academy Award nominee Laurence Fishburne.
In celebration of the film’s home release, we had the incredible opportunity to speak with David Dastmalchian who plays the quirky X-Con, Kurt. We talked about some fun moments from the Ant-Man set, what it’s like working with Paul Rudd, how Kurt would fare if he had to take on Thanos himself, and more!
Denise Caputo: Congratulations on all the success with Ant-man and The Wasp! The film is officially out on digital, Blu-ray, and 4K Ultra today. In my opinion, it’s one of the most fun Marvel films so far. Before taking your role in Ant-Man, were you familiar with the comics at all?
David Dastmalchian: Thank you! I grew up in Kansas, and the first comic book that I ever bought when I was in the third grade was an Avengers comic book. I used to go to a comic book shop called Clint’s Comics in Kansas City, and the first comic that I ever collected on a monthly basis was a Marvel comic. It was called The West Coast Avengers, and its heroes were Hawkeye, Mockingbird, Wonder Man and Tigra and integral characters in it were Hank Pym as well as the Wasp. I just fell in love with those characters. Because I fell in love with those characters, there’s a thing that happens when you’re a comic book collector. You find a character in one issue of one thing, and then you seek them out in other issues and other things. Then, you just start falling down the rabbit holes of the incredible world that exists out there in comic books.
Fast forward now to me being a grown up and getting to be an actor in so many amazing, comic book cinematic and televised stories. I describe it as, “if this is a dream, please don’t pinch me.” I don’t want to wake up. It’s too amazing! I’ve been in so many of the best things. It’s really kind of incredible. I think that Christopher Nolan’s Dark Night was one of the best cinematic Batman stories ever told. I believe that what the MCU has done is undeniable. It’s historic. It’s cinema history. I love it. I love showing up to work. I love that Peyton Reed is as big, if not bigger, of a comic book nerd than I am. We can geek out over the little minutia and all the details and plot points and stuff. It’s just so much fun.
DC: Awesome, and I think that fun translates so well onto the big screen, particularly in your scenes with Michael Pena and T.I. They’re fantastic. They’re perfectly timed and just absolutely hilarious. What was your favorite part about filming those scenes and did you improvise at all?
DD: You know, I love those guys. First of all, we couldn’t be three more different dudes out there, and yet, once you put us all in a van or an office together, it just works. I’m so blessed. I’m so lucky with that casting and that the team involved saw fit that I could be a part of this because I really do love the chemistry between us.
When we start acting, the scenes are written. The script is there, and it’s what we shoot. Then, Paul [Rudd] will just start doing something, or Michael Pena will start improvising something, and we’ll just go with it. Peyton [Reed] and the producers, really encourage us to go for it too. Here’s a good example. I remember on the first film; we were shooting a scene where Luis [Pena’s character] is going to give a long rambling answer to Scott [Rudd’s character] about some important information. It was really funny the way the scene was written, but as Michael started doing it, and as his story got longer and longer, he just started making stuff up and improvising. I think, at that moment, everybody realized that’s got to be a huge part of who Luis is, and that has now become the signature thing with his character. It happens again in the new film. I love that.
DC: That’s amazing! The cast on this film is phenomenal with Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, and Michelle Pfeiffer to boot, and, of course, you mentioned Paul Rudd. I’ve got to say he sincerely seems like he’s one of the nicest guys on the planet. What was it like working with him and the cast?
DD: It was so awesome! Paul has always been someone I’ve admired, looked up to, and I’ve always been a fan of his. We’re both from the same town in Kansas. When I got the chance to audition for Ant-Man, and I got to tell him that I’m also from Overland Park, Kansas, he and I initially bonded over that, and it’s been really fun.
In fact, Paul and several other Kansas City celebrities, like Jason Sudeikis, David Koechner, Eric Stonestreet, and Rob Riggle, for ten years have been hosting this amazing charity event called The Big Slick. All the proceeds from that charity go towards the Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, which is one of the leading pediatric oncology hospitals in the world. They take kids from all over the Midwest, no matter what their financial situation is, and this year alone, The Big Slick raised over two million dollars! Now that I’m friends with those guys, I get to be a part of this amazing charity event, which is supporting a hospital that my own nephew was treated at when he was two years old after he was diagnosed with cancer. So, Paul is a truly wonderful human being. He gives as much off-screen as he does on-screen. He brings so much joy to people’s lives. For me, getting to become friends with him and getting to be a part of these films with him has been an honor.
DC: Oh, that’s so wonderful! I love that, and I love your character in Ant-Man and The Wasp! What has been your favorite part, so far, about playing Kurt?
DD: Two things. First, I remember the very first time when we were in Atlanta getting the Kurt look done. I was there with Yvette Stone and Janine Rath, as well as the rest of the hair team, as they were putting this look together with this incredible, huge coiffed pompadour. I remember looking in the mirror and seeing myself with the sideburns and the pompadour. Then, Heba Thorisdottir and Gregory Funk, who did the makeup, were putting these tattoos on my hands. Then, putting it all together, standing there in front of the mirror, and seeing Kurt come to life – that’s something that I always love every time I go to work. They put in all the work that goes into making Kurt, Kurt.
Second, in Ant-Man and The Wasp, a memory that I’ll always cherish was the first time we started talking about the Baba Yaga. It was me trying not to break and laugh as we were trying to get through this long sequence talking about the witch, the Baba Yaga, and then singing the Baba Yaga lullaby. Those are memories that just make me laugh every time I think about them.
DC: I absolutely loved the whole Baba Yaga piece of the film. Hysterical! So, before we wrap things up, I just need to know. How do you think Kurt would fare if he had to go up against Thanos?
DD: Thanos wouldn’t stand a chance! Look at Kurt’s hair. It’s indestructible. It’s never moved once in the movies. If you go back, and I want the die-hard fans to go back and check frame-for-frame, there’s no movement in that hair. It’s indestructible! Thanos, pffft. He can have all of the Infinity Stones in that gauntlet. Let him take as hard of a swing as he possibly can at Kurt. The hair is not going to move. We’d break his little fingers. I know it wouldn’t be as interesting of a movie and we wouldn’t have all of the superheroes coming together and all. So, that’s okay. I’m willing to sit this one out, but I’ve got to put it out there. Kurt would have taken out Thanos in one fell swoop!
We sure hope Kurt survived Thanos’ infamous snap because, if David Dastmalchian is correct, his indestructible pompadour just may be the only thing left that can save the Avengers!
Ant-Man and The Wasp is currently available on digital and Blu-ray/Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD. Make sure you pick up your copy today or enter our contest for your chance to win a copy of the Blu-ray!