Ian Bohen plays Lieutenant Mitch Anderson in Superman & Lois, which is based on the characters from DC. New episodes air Tuesdays at 8 PM ET on The CW. The following interview will contain spoilers for episode 2×07, “Anti-Hero.”
Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) pleads with Lt. Anderson (guest star Ian Bohen, Teen Wolf) to investigate Ally Allston (guest star Rya Kihlstedt) and Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch) receives some very upsetting news. Meanwhile, Lois helps Lana (Emmanuelle Chriqui) prepare to fight the good fight. Lastly, Jordan (Alex Garfin) is still irritated with Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) for lying to him.
I had the chance to chat with the actor about what he enjoys most when bringing this character to life, reuniting with Tyler Hoechlin on screen, that big cliffhanger at the end of episode 2×07, who he’d like to work with more in the cast, what Superman & Lois adds to Superman’s legacy, and more! Keep reading for everything he told me.
Well, your performance in this episode was fantastic. But first off, I want to ask you, what is your favorite aspect of this character to play with as an actor?
Ian Bohen: As an actor, I like to fundamentally know what somebody wants, what makes them tick, and what they’re striving for because we can all behave in any different way in a given situation, to be really nice, funny, charming, mean, or whatever. But in the long term, as an arc, what are your patterns show you to be like? You have the words to deal with, so those are immutable, you have to say the words on the page, but how you do that is based on where you’re coming from, when you think you’re going, and that’s really the crux of it for me. It changes the subtlest things that hopefully, the audience picks up on and they go, “there’s something about what he’s doing,” “this is gonna go weird,” or whatever and that’s the fun part, instead of just being a bad guy doing something mean, say “arrr” or you’re happy, smile and laugh. There’s so much more into it, and if you know what you’re after, it’s at least a roadmap to start going.
We leave off on a pretty big cliffhanger with Anderson. What can you tease about what’s next for him?
After seven, Anderson is essentially on the lam, right? He stole a helicopter to get to wherever this place is, he took government property, he is officially like public enemy number one. So he has to build a new — what is he supposed to do with himself? How does he complete his mission? So I think what you will see is the decisions that he makes to get what he wants. He’s going to go a bit more extreme than this even. I’m just like, “oh, wow, he does what? Okay, all right. Let’s see how that works.” So more to come.
Superman was asking Anderson to find Ally Allston and then we have that final moment. I can only imagine where that’s gonna go.
Yeah, this whole time, he’s like, “she’s the worst. She’s a bad guy. She’s everything horrible.” Then he’s got a chance to do something about it and it’s just this like — they don’t really say much. They just kind of look at each other and it lingers. It’s out in the rain and you’re like, “Are they going to fight? Or kiss? What’s gonna happen here?” So, it goes into a new realm. I can’t tell you where exactly but it will be fun to watch.
Obviously, you and Tyler worked together previously on Teen Wolf, so what has it been like to create this fresh dynamic with two characters on a whole new show? You two are amazing together.
Thank you. We knew that we always wanted to work together again since it’s been four or five years since we wrapped Teen Wolf and we haven’t worked together since. We spend a lot of time, so when we knew this was happening, we were just over the moon at the chance to collaborate. The relationship dynamic is similar with Peter and Derek, and Anderson and Superman, same but different. So we wanted to find new ways to butt heads, find conflict, and also humanity, and doing it with one of your best friends is — it doesn’t get any better, trust me. He is the sweetest, most genuine guy, as I’m sure you know. So it’s an absolute treat.
I love that. This episode had some pretty intense scenes between you and Tyler’s character. Can you tell me about filming them, do you guys ever just burst out laughing after it’s over?
We do sometimes because you know a lot of acting, you’re on your marks, you’re kind of pumping yourself up, you’re staring at each other’s eyes, and then the camera will be like, “we just need 10 seconds to fix this.” So then you’re just like, “Okay, okay, we’re gonna have to do this.” You’re looking at each other like you’re gonna wrestle and you’re like, “this is ridiculous. What are we doing?” It seems like it goes on for eternity and then you do this scene. We never break character because we’re very committed to it, but the second it’s over, we do and we have a giggle. Sometimes I’ll throw the cape over my shoulder, stupid stuff, he’s standing there kicking rocks in his Superman suit, and I’m like, “You look ridiculous. You’re an idiot.” So it’s just that back and forth. I mean, you can’t imagine how much fun we have.
The cast is all so talented. Is there anyone that you’d love to work with more in future episodes?
I haven’t had a chance to interact with Lois. Bitsie and I are great friends. Tyler has really orchestrated me meeting and having a relationship with everybody offset, which has been wonderful. She is spectacular, I would love to perform with her. All of the ladies, Sofia, because Chrissy Beppothat is just like — I just want to squeeze her, she’s so good and I want to do stuff with her. Emmanuelle, who I’ve probably known for a decade, is fantastic. I guess I want the powerful female women in this, I want to be able to act opposite them. So I’m really hoping that happens or at least even to be on set together because we see each other in passing as we’re changing the scenes and whatnot. We have a hi but we don’t get to do stuff together. So those are my three, I want the ladies.
Which scene from this episode were you most excited to see the final result of on-screen?
The death of Bizarro at the hands of a mortal, I was like, how was that gonna happen? This creature that’s been pounding through the rock for several episodes and causing seismic headaches for Superman, is this force, how can an Anderson possibly do this? Then when we mapped out the death sequence with the stunt coordinator, Rob Hayter, and worked out the previews of it. I was like, “wow, I totally buy this. You made it work.” That was a very difficult sequence and it was physically exhausting to do it. So, I’ve seen a rough assembly without sounds and effects, but I can’t wait to watch it and watch that thing happen. That’s a beautiful moment at the end. If you can say that about that scene, it’s a beautiful death.
Yeah, I can’t wait for fans to see that. They’re gonna go crazy over it.
Yeah, I mean, you’ve seen more of it than I have.
It’s amazing. [Oh, good, I’m glad! So, it’s good?] Yeah! It came out perfectly. I really wanted to discuss it with you.
That was one long take at the end of the day. We were so tired, we had done it so many times, and they had a new thing. “Let’s do this. We’ll pull out tight, then you get up and you walk away,” and we’re like, “shoot, okay.” We did it, everyone just cheered and we were like, “We got it!” So that was really nice, I can’t wait to watch it.
I can’t wait for you to see it. This series is creating new stories with these iconic and beloved characters, but what do you think Superman & Lois adds to the Superman legacy overall?
I think it’s — why I like this show so much is a quote from Todd Helbing that I heard third hand from someone else, “we’re making a family drama and they happen to have superpowers.” So from that approach, it’s a different and progressive view of humanity. It’s more relatable than when I was a kid just watching Superman following helicopters and there could be no problem. You got a man that his kids are yelling at him and he’s like, “I don’t know what to do.” It’s so endearing and so much more relatable. That is why I think it’s so successful. There’s so much more room to run with that, that family component, and all of the families. The Cushings, that family is dynamic and wonderful. Then the way that their children relate to each other, especially for young people with hard issues and things that kids deal with that I didn’t have to deal with when I was a kid, and they deal with it all together, it’s gorgeous. Then you have the parents, Dylan Walsh and his daughters. It’s so well thought out that no one thought you could integrate all of that stuff, have Superman at the same time, and have people love it, and they did.
It’s so special to watch, isn’t it?
I think this is the best incarnation on television of Superman that there has been.
This episode was also directed by Elizabeth Henstridge, who I love as well. She’s so talented. What was it like working with her?
She’s phenomenal. She’s a great energy. She is attentive and she looks you in the eye when you speak. She listens to your input and collaborates with you. She laughs and she doesn’t get tired. She doesn’t sit down and she’s just there in the trenches with you. She was an absolute favorite of mine and everyone else too. Yeah, really is something else.
I remember hearing the news when you first joined the show and I was so excited. What has it been like to see the fan response and love?
It makes you feel really good that they want to root for you and that they’re happy to see you do something else because it means that they enjoy what you’ve done before and expect to have more of it. It’s like, when you have seconds at the family table or a restaurant and the chef goes, “Oh, that’s great. This is what I do. I make food.” So I do this stuff and of course, it makes me glad so I’m going to keep trying to work hard and push through even more stuff to keep it rolling.
So I always try to give a fun creative question. Yes, please do!
If you could place Anderson in any of the other shows or movies you have worked on, where would you put him and why? Or which of your past characters would you put in Superman & Lois? Which would you rather and what would you want to see?
Oh my gosh, this is good. I really like Anderson and we just scratched the surface on where he came from. I don’t think we’ve even really developed his past or origin story. But so I’m going to stay with him for now and where I would put him… given what he is and what he does — what a good question. I think he would have done well on Chicago, P.D., because of his personality. I know that might be an odd answer, but I would like to — he would have been developed there in a very dramatic way. So that’s the first thing that comes to mind and that’s it, he doesn’t really have a place on Yellowstone, he can’t really fit in there at all. And Teen Wolf also… actually, he would be alright in Teen Wolf if we sort of like in Stranger Things where the government gets involved in fighting a known evil. Then he might be able to be alright there.
What do you think Peter Hale would think of Anderson?
Peter Hale would eat his lunch, for sure. He’s like, “Boy, get out of here! You do not belong in Beacon Hills.”