Superman And Lois’ Chad L. Coleman Thinks Bruno Mannheim Could Be His 'Best Role,' And Shares Surprising Way He Learned He Was Cast

Chad L. Coleman as Bruno Mannheim in Superman and Lois
(Image credit: The CW)

Earlier this week, Superman & Lois Season 3 premiered, and along with this kickoff episode, titled “Closer,” delivering a surprisingly intimate scene, we met Chad L. Coleman’s Bruno Mannheim, the suspected leader of the criminal organization known as Intergang. Coleman previously played Tobias Church on Arrow, and his casting as Mannheim was announced last September. While chatting with CinemaBlend, in addition to sharing a positive update on The Orville Season 4’s chances, Coleman explained why he thinks Mannheim could be his “best role” yet, as well as shared the surprising way he learned he was cast as the character.

Superman & Lois is Chad L. Coleman’s third time acting in a CW show, because along with his brief stint on Arrow, he played Corey James on All American. Greg Berlanti is involved with all three of those shows, and after saying how much he enjoys working with the producer and his team, Coleman explained to me why he thinks Bruno Mannheim currently ranks at the top of the list of characters he’s played. As the Walking Dead alum detailed:

… I love Greg Berlanti and the showrunners over there, having worked with him on Arrow and All American. So this is my third turn, so I knew it was going to be something exciting and something that I wanted to do. And then when I talked with the showrunners, I was ready to go. It’s a mammoth role, and I say it’s probably the best role I’ve ever played because I’ve never played a man of quite this scale, this rich, this powerful and a self-made man who loves his community, loves his family, and it makes it hard for you to just write him off as a villain.

The official character description for Chad L. Coleman’s Bruno Mannheim stated that to the people of Metropolis, he’s known as “a local hero” and “a philanthropist who’s revived the struggling neighborhoods of the city.” Secretly, however, just like his comic book counterpart, he runs Intergang. As Coleman laid out in our chat, while there’s no denying that Mannheim is an antagonist on Superman & Lois, this is also a man of means who cares about the people in his circle, especially his family. We don’t know yet what his schemes entail, but his actions are meant to benefit his community. It’s this complexity that makes the Mannheim role so appealing to Coleman, as well as helps him stand out from Tobias Church.

As for how Chad L. Coleman learned he’d be playing Bruno Mannheim on Superman & Lois, it turns out he discovered this not too long after he learned the role even existed, and he didn’t even need to audition. The actor recalled:

I was telling some folks, I was catching up with a very dear friend of mine, Evan Dexter Park, here in Atlanta, and we get together, we chop it up and say, ‘Hey man, what have you been going in for?’ And he said, ‘Did you go in for that Superman thing?’ I said, ‘I don’t know anything about a Superman thing.’ He said, ‘I just self-taped, man. You should really go for that.’ The next day I get a call from my agent saying, ‘You have an offer for Superman & Lois.’ I said, “What are you talking about?’ My buddy just went in for it. I got him to send me the breakdown.’ They were like, ‘Yeah, we know, but it wasn’t supposed to be put out on the breakdown. They wrote it for you.’ I said, ‘Wow!’

Warning: SPOILERS for the Superman & Lois episode “Closer” are ahead!

Bruno Mannheim’s importance in Superman & Lois was first teased in the Season 2 finale, when David Ramsey’s John Diggle informed Wolé Parks’ John Henry Irons that Mannheim is suspected to be behind the death of this Earth’s John Henry. After being repeatedly mentioned in the Superman & Lois Season 3 premiere, Chad L. Coleman’s character finally appeared in the final minutes of “Closer,” instructing the scientists in his employ to inject Henry Miller, a.k.a. Atom-Man, with a higher dosage of a mysterious formula, despite the fact that Miller was already dead. Miller was subsequently revived, and Mannheim then told Onomatopoeia that they’re “getting closer.” Along with Mannheim causing trouble this season, Superman & Lois is also bringing in its version of Lex Luthor, played by fellow Walking Dead actor Michael Cudlitz.

New episodes of Superman & Lois drop Tuesdays at 8 pm ET on The CW. As of this writing, there’s no word on whether the show will continue after Season 3 is over, although Wolé Parks has said he thinks there will be “one more season at least.” Use our 2023 TV schedule to keep track of what other programming is currently airing/streaming.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.