Chad L. Coleman is a man who doesn’t want to be type cast. He’s not afraid to play the reformed gangster who opens up a boxing gym, the brother resisting change during the apocalypse, or the suave man ready to take on the vigilantes of Star City.
We got a chance to speak with Chad L. Coleman at Walker Stalker Con in New Jersey about Tyreese, what advice he’d give to Carol, and his upcoming role as Tobias Church on Arrow.
Tyreese’s death on The Walking Dead hit us hard, with his final moments turning fans into blubbering messes. He was a man, a brother, a survivor, who acknowledged that the world had changed but didn’t let it change him. And playing this role left it’s mark on Chad.
“What I learned from him is courage and conviction. The will to stand up for what you really believe in no matter what the cost.”
In a world where many (not all) people lack the determination or will to act on their ideas or beliefs, Tyreese stands out to Chad as a man willing to do anything for what he believed in.
“I think he represents what a lot of us aspire to. We all want to be the best people we can be. Nurture, love, and take care of one another and try not to be violent.” Essentially, to be the best versions of ourselves.
Tyreese had many important relationships on The Walking Dead. But one of the most fascinating was his relationship with Carol. Somehow he was willing to look past the pain he had experienced at the death of Karen and forgive her. Now that Carol is so lost and in pain, Chad’s a bit confused at why she’s given up.
“Not to be disparaging but that’s why I don’t understand it. She’s been through all of that. So why turn into me? On a certain level. In a certain manner of speaking.”
Instead he wants her to be kind to herself. Carol has always been a good person willing to do what must be done for survival. There’s nothing to feel guilty about because she’s doing the best she can. And if Tyreese had a chance to speak with her one last time he’d tell her, “To remember that you (Carol) taught Tyreese that you gotta step up to the plate and do the hard stuff and survive. Keep moving on and be proud of who you are.”
This fall Chad plans to hang up his hero ways in his new role as Tobias Church on The CW’s fifth season of Arrow. His character has been described as an imposing gangster looking to unite the various criminal enterprises in Star City under his own singular command.
According to Chad he’s a bonafide badass.
“I was reading the script on the plane (before arriving at Walker Stalker Con.) He is Suge Knight, Jay-Z, and Dr. Dre all rolled into one. I’m telling you this is an amazing character. I’m gonna have so much fun with this guy.”
Tobias will also be very charming. After the destruction caused in season four and the hole left by the death of Damien Darhk, the criminal element of Star City will be a little scattered. That’s where Tobias comes in. He’ll seduce them with “brass knuckles and silver coins” to join his cause against the vigilantes of the city. After all, what’s a bad guy with no charm.
All of this means looming trouble for Team Arrow, who is down 3 members, and has Oliver’s mayoral duties to worry about on top of keeping Star City safe.
When asked, on a scale from 1 to 10, how much trouble Tobias is going to cause our heroes, Chad was quick to say 15.
“I’m dead serious. I’m telling you. I am not trying to hype it. I’m reading the script and I’m like wowwww. I can’t wait to get going on this one. He’s so smart and so quick with the words. He’s got savvy, sarcasm, smarter than everyone. He’s a strong man. It’s amazing.”
His new role is also going to be very demanding and full of “physical stuff.” With the ever amazing James Bamford on board as stunt coordinator, you can expect some amazing fight scenes between Tobias, the Green Arrow, and the rest of the team.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the lead man (Stephen Amell) and mixing up. And just giving fans something new. You know, a new character in the repertoire where you really get to see me play a bad guy.”
Arrow season five premieres October 5, 2016 on The CW.