'Dark Knight' Actor David Dastmalchian Is 'Deeply Grateful' for Christopher Nolan Reunion in 'Oppenheimer'

"I'm really, really blessed," David Dastmalchian says of the opportunity to work with Christopher Nolan again

David Dastmalchian
Photo: Nicholas Chalmers

Actor David Dastmalchian made his Hollywood debut in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. Now, 15 years later, the pair have reunited for Nolan's anticipated new film Oppenheimer.

While speaking with PEOPLE recently about the Hulu thriller Boston Strangler, Dastmalchian, 47, gushes about his secretive role in Oppenheimer, which follows Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist who famously led the World War III-era Manhattan Project as it raced to create an atomic bomb.

"I'm so honored and grateful that I got an opportunity to go back and create a role with someone who changed my life, who gave me my first break, and who continues to inspire me," the actor says of collaborating again with writer-director Nolan, 52.

"I believe that what I got to see Cillian creating on set as well is going to really move people in a powerful way, and I'm just honored that I get to be a part of it in any way, shape, or form," he adds. "I'm really, really blessed."

Dastmalchian, who tells PEOPLE that his Dark Knight role is the movie he is "most consistently" recognized for, says he is "deeply, deeply grateful" for Nolan's contributions both to the movie industry and his own personal life.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 25: Actor David Dastmalchian attends the Los Angeles Global Premiere for Marvel Studios' "Ant-Man And The Wasp" at the El Capitan Theatre on June 25, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
David Dastmalchian at the premiere of "Ant-Man And The Wasp". Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty for Disney

"Man, I feel old," he says, after reflecting on the 15 years that passed in between when he first filmed scenes for The Dark Knight and when he worked with the director again for Oppenheimer. "My life has changed so much, and every step of the way I can look back and say that in some way that experience of him casting me in his film is a reason for it."

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"I'm just so deeply, deeply grateful for him, not only for all of the cinema that he's given us to enjoy, but for the opportunity he gave me and how much it changed my life and my family's life," Dastmalchian adds.

In Oppenheimer, Dastmalchian works with a cast that includes Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Josh Hartnett, Florence Pugh, Gary Oldman, Jack Quaid, Rami Malek and Josh Peck. The actor has filmed a significant number of movies lately; in addition to Boston Strangler, Dastmalchian also appeared in Marvel Studios' February release Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and a horror film titled Late Night with the Devil. He also has two more films scheduled for release in 2023 on top of Oppenheimer.

"So this whole moment, this whole year, this whole experience of getting to be a part of all these projects, I feel like it's a little hard to believe right now," he tells PEOPLE. "But I'm trying to just sit here and take my breaths and feel all the gratitude that I'm feeling."

Boston Strangler is streaming on Hulu now; Oppenheimer hits theaters on July 21.

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