Christian Mann

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Christian Mann
Christian Mann.jpg
Thore Schölermann as Christian Mann
Verbotene Liebe character
Portrayed by Thore Schölermann
Duration 2006-2013
First appearance Episode 2811
27 November 2006
Last appearance Episode 4360
17 September 2013
Classification Regular;Recurring
Profile
Occupation Horse trainer
Former boxer
Home London, United Kingdom

Christian Mann is a fictional character on German soap opera Verbotene Liebe (Forbidden Love). He is portrayed by actor Thore Schölermann from 27 November 2006. Schölermann was initially supposed to take a break after December 2012. However, it was later reported that the actor will not return full-time but in a limited capacity.[1]

The character has an international following and was praised for being one half of the same-sex pairing with Oliver Sabel. In 2011, the fictional couple got voted 'Most Beautiful Couple' at the 1st German Soap Awards.

Casting[edit]

In summer 2006, newcomer Thore Schölermann gets cast in the role of Christian Mann, who's the younger brother of the already established character Gregor Mann. Christian is supposed to serve as the new heartthrob, finding himself eventually in a love triangle between two young women.

After a little bit over a year, actor Jo Weil returns to the show as Oliver Sabel, a role he established in 1999. Verbotene Liebe head writer Tom Chroust decides to write a coming out storyline for Christian, pairing him with Oliver. This step proves to be a gold mine for the show. The pairing received huge international attention and following and is considered a supercouple.

In June 2012, it was announced that Thore Schölermann will host the second season of ProSiebenSat.1's casting-show The Voice of Germany.[2] He debuted in his new role on 18 October 2012. It was reported on 27 August 2012 that Schölermann is supposed to take an extended break from Verbotene Liebe.[3] He made his last appearance on 17 September 2013.

Original reports suggested that Schölermann will return to filming in early 2013. But it was since announced that the actor wouldn't return full-time, but in a limited capacity. He returned filming in June 2013, with his onscreen return planned for September.[4]

Storyline[edit]

Christian is the younger brother of Gregor Mann (Andreas Jancke). During his childhood he had to cope with his mother's suicide and his father's gambling addiction. He was convicted when he took the blame for a crime committed by his father, Wolfgang (Jürgen Haug), knowing his father wouldn't be able to endure prison with a weak heart. While Christian served his father's sentence, his father died and it is revealed he was "in handcuffs" while visiting his father's grave. After being released, Christian moved to Düsseldorf with Gregor.

He goes to prison again because of being falsely accused for assaulting Nico's boss. He starts dating Nico von Lahnstein (Verena Zimmermann), but breaks up with her and starts a relationship with Coco Faber (Mariangela Scelsi), when he discovers Nico made Coco write love letters to him and sign them as Nico, during the time he was in prison.

Later, he meets Olivia's cousin and Charlie (Gabriele Metzger) and Lars' nephew Oliver Sabel (Jo Weil), who later shares the apartment with Lars, Christian and Coco. When he learns about Olli's sexuality, he is not comfortable sharing the flat with him but later apologises realising his mistake. Christian begins to have relationship problems with Coco, resulting in her falling in love and sharing a kiss with Oliver, which they decide to keep it as a secret from Christian. as that meant nothing to both of them. However at the same time, Oliver begins to develop feelings for Christian, which are cemented during a camping trip and realizes that he has fallen in love with him.

When Christian finds out about Coco's kiss with Oliver, he confronts Oliver and accuses him of pretending to be gay in order to get his girlfriend. At the boxing club later on, Oliver goes to him to clear the misunderstanding but ends up kissing him. Christian shoves him away, stating that he is straight. Oliver sends a sports college application for Christian against his will which makes him angry and confused. Christian starts dreaming and fantasizing about Olli's kiss and becomes confused about his sexuality. He ends up breaking up with Coco as a result. After he admits his confusion to Coco, she leaves for Goa, India taking their dog Pepper with her.

He talks about his confused feelings with another man on an anonymous chat room. But when he discovers that the man is Oliver (who was unaware that he was chatting with Christian) the confrontation that ensues brings all their feelings to the front and results in Oliver and Christian having sex for the first time. Afterwards, Christian tells Oliver this first experiment convinced him that he is not gay. Despite this, Christian still thinks about Oliver more and more often and becomes further confused about his feelings and sexuality. Later, his track entrance trial at the sports college doesn't go well, having two false starts, until Oliver shows up to support him which results in him passing with flying colors.

On a date with co-worker and friend Miriam Christian feels jealous when he see Oliver dancing with another guy and starts a fight with him. Oliver manages to stop the fight and accuses Christian of being jealous, and follows him upstairs locked in his room. After Oliver stays at Christian's locked door all night, they both confess their mutual feelings and Christian lets Oliver into his room and they make love, finally becoming a couple.

They try to hide their relationship from other friends, but it is later discovered by Judith, their flatmate, and Olivia. To Christian and Oliver's surprise, the friends who discovered their relationship are fine with it and promise to keep it a secret.

In the meantime, Christian gets a boxing contract. He fires his first manager, a homophobic man, and hires Gregor, who turns out to be supportive when he discovers Christian in bed with Oliver, but he has to keep his relationship with Oliver hidden due to homophobia in the boxing scene, even though he wishes to come out no longer ashamed of his sexuality. Oliver, desperate for Christian's success, even goes as far as convincing Christian to pretend to date Judith as a beard. Christian wins his first fight and then comes out by publicly kissing Oliver in the ring, making himself known as "The Gay Boxer". However, Axel, the boxer defeated by Christian and who had before mocked Christian for suspecting he was in a gay relationship, attacks Oliver when he finds him alone in No Limits. The charges against Axel are dropped due to lack of evidence.

Despite an apparent successful recovery, Oliver develops an aneurysm that puts his life at danger as a result of the attack, and most of Christian partners become supportive of them, and the lesion gives the police enough evidence to arrest Axel. However, some time after this, Christian collapses while in the shower and is discovered by a horrified Oliver who takes him to the hospital. Despite insisting his collapse was a minor thing, it is confirmed that he suffers from a bacterial infection which has spread to his heart muscle called myocarditis, a result of a common cold not healing properly, which impairs him from doing any kind of professional sport. This abrupt change of life causes a short downward spin for Christian, having to give up his passion for boxing, but soon learns to change his life around until his infection heals. After a short time working as a park and forest administrator at the Königsbrunn Castle, Stella Mann notices that he has a gift for taming horses, and he starts training at Köningsbrunn as a professional Horse Trainer.

Christian and Oliver's first relationship trouble is caused by Rob, a party planner who is interested in seducing Oliver, and catches his attention by proposing business deals, while secretly attempting to use Oliver's bar No Limits as a base for drug dealing. Oliver perceives the suspicions of Christian as mere jealousy, and their relationship is further strained when Oliver begins to suspect Christian to becoming attracted towards women again, this being fueled when Christian shares a drunken kiss with Miriam during a party and when Rebecca von Lahnstein develops feelings for Christian and kisses him. Oliver soon bluntly asks him if he's into women again and Christian admits he's not sure, causing them to consider if their relationship is worth trying for. However, after considering all the trials they had gone through together, the two decide to start fresh. In the end, Christian and Oliver reconcile thanks to a romantic trip to New York, and Rebecca manages to expose Rob as drug dealer to the police, who is imprisoned.

Christian, soon after their trip to New York, suffers an episode of chest pain and is taken to the hospital by Andi. However, Oliver is not allowed to know any details about him once at the hospital as he's not a relative of Christian, much to his and Christian's annoyance. When Christian goes to Sebastian von Lahnstein in order to file documents to fix any future health concerns for them hospital-wise, he suggests he and Oliver get married to avoid these limitations. Christian is wary to get married and says he and Oliver are fine with where they are in their relationship. Miriam also suggests the same thing to Oliver, who responds with excitement to propose to Christian and begins making plans to do just so. When Oliver proposes to Christian later on in No Limits, decorating it with Valentine's Day decorations, Christian is clearly shocked. Despite his earlier comments about not being ready for marriage, he says yes to Oliver's proposal.

Despite some conflict about how the wedding should be, Christian wanting a small and private wedding whereas Oliver wants a big and grande wedding party, they finally get married, and start talking about adopting a child. After learning that adoption takes up to several years for gay couples, they make an attempt to get known with a lesbian couple, in order to try for in vitro fertilization. However, the couple demands Christian and Oliver to sign a contract, planning for their future activities and decisions to ensure they will always be close to the child. Christian and Oliver, unwilling to commit to a rigid and tight plan, break up the agreement. Later they start acting as foster parents for Lilly, daughter of a Cameroonian man, during the time he is in prison, and while he looks for a job after his release. Oliver wants to foster another child soon after Lily's parting from their life, but Christian is unable to do this so soon after Lily's departure and still in pain from her leaving. This causing a strain on their relationship. However, Oliver soon realizes that he is willing to be with Christian despite being unable to have a family with him and makes up with him.

Their relationship takes a severe downward turn when Christian and Andi Fritzsche wake up after a party with Jessica Stiehl, who claims both of them had sex with her. This fuels Oliver's fear that Christian might leave him for a woman, and he asks Christian to move out. Christian lives at the stud farm in Königsbrünn for a while, until a fire destroys all his possessions, forcing him to move with Oliver's aunt Charlie, right in front of the apartment in which Oliver lives.

The couple drifts even more apart after Oliver witnesses Phillip zu Hohenfelden being hit by a car and thinks himself responsible, falling into depression. Christian starts an affair with Theresa Erzberger, a coworker at the stud farm, but breaks up with her when Theresa sabotages the training of Dana Wolf. Oliver attempts a relationship with Rafael Velasquez, whom he had met at vacations on Ibiza, and both agree to dissolve their marriage.

Distressed from Oliver's official departure from his life, Christian seeks for relief by returning to his box training club and accepts a challenge by a friend of Axel's, intending to get revenge for what Axel did to Oliver awhile back. The fight triggers his heart condition and results in a heart attack, which Olli ends up witnessing, sending him to the hospital. The fear of truly losing Christian causes Oliver to realize that he still loves him despite all the trouble the two have gone through together and break up with Rafael, reconciling with Christian and restarting their relationship. The heart episode severely impairs Christian, since any activity or situation that rises his heart rate would endanger his life. On January 3, 2012 Oliver and Christian got married for a second time in the cabin outside which they first fell in love back in 2008.

In late 2012, Christian is invited to work in the United Kingdom for several months with a worldwide renowned horse trainer. He and Oliver temporarily depart with a sweet moment and a kiss as Christian leaves.

In late 2013, Christian returns to the show, being seen walking through the street with his bags. During this, he gets a phone call which he tells the caller to stop calling him. Later, he hides in Oliver's room in the apartment where he pretends to be an intruder and handcuffs Oliver to a chair before revealing himself and putting on a strip show for him, reuniting the two. The two spend days happy together, but eventually get into an argument over whether or not Christian wants to continue traveling and working, thus spending months apart from each other again. During their fight, Christian leaves to walk throughout the city and, as he is distracted, gets his jacket is stolen from a running thief. Christian is unable to chase after him when he trips. As a result of the robbery, the thief is eventually in an accident which required surgery and is accidentally mistaken as Christian; scaring Oliver when he is called to be told about "Christian" being in the hospital. In shock, he wanders throughout the city and meets a friend who invites him under his roof to get out of the pouring rain. Oliver accepts and sits, fearing for "Christian". However, moments later, Christian comes into the room, revealing the big misunderstanding. The eventually make up, and Christian even says he wants to travel with him when they can when Oliver lets Christian take another year working. Once again, the two are happy once again and spend most of their time having sex together until Christian has to leave once again for his work. However, Christian still keeps getting regular phone calls from someone whom he keeps firmly saying to stop calling him.

Soon enough, Christian goes into the bathroom after a day in bed with Oliver to phone this mystery person back, talking in English. He tells the person to not call him again. As he goes on, Jessica walks in just in time to hear Christian say to the person, "We had sex. Once. And that's the end of the story. It happened because I was drunk!" After insisting that he was happily married, he ends the call and sees Jessica standing in the room. He initially hopes she didn't understand since he was speaking in English, but Jessica says that she understands "We had sex" very well in English. When she scolds him for sleeping with a man while drunk, Christian reveals to her that the person he slept with was actually a woman. Christian details how throughout the year he spent without Oliver, he had gotten lonely and went to a bar for a few drinks. He eventually got drunk and doesn't remember anything that had happened afterward, but woke up in bed with a woman. Jessica says that he can't tell Oliver, reminding him of what happened after their night together and the disastrous effect it had on him and Oliver. Dana walks in to get diapers for Max and Jessica immediately tells her of Christian's one night stand and that Christian can never tell Oliver. Dana is offended, believing it to be the right thing to do and how she (Jessica) had Hagan lie to her for weeks about cheating on her, but Jessica insisted it was different with Christian and that telling the truth would ruin the relationship on account of Christian's past. However, Dana firmly believes that Oliver deserves the truth.

Later, Christian is struck with immense guilt and eventually confesses his one night stand to Oliver. When Christian also reveals it was once again with a woman, Oliver points out how every time he has cheated on him it was with a woman, never a man, and that this must mean that he wants something that he (Oliver) can never give him. Oliver leaves in a huff to think and cry over Christian's incapability of being faithful to him. Dana eventually comes in to talk with Christian, and he tells her how he couldn't bear lying to Oliver any longer and had to tell him the truth, even if it meant potentially ruining everything they have together. He brings up how the worst part is that it is the same exact issue as it was in the past; him getting drunk and winding up in bed with a woman. He expresses his fear that Oliver will want to end their marriage together once again and Dana tries to assure him that they worked everything else like last time, but Christian says he promised back then that he would never cheat again. He insists that he loves Oliver, but hates how he still hurts him despite his love for him. Dana says she simply hopes Oliver will forgive him.

Some time later, Oliver returns home. He says he thought about how he wants their marriage to be, and doesn't want it like the way it currently is. He directly says that Christian can't be faithful, doesn't want any commitments and wants to sleep with whomever he wants. Christian is left confused, until Oliver declares he doesn't want to break up - he wants an open marriage. As he walks off, Christian is left shell shocked.

After this, Christian proposes to stay in Germany in order to regain Oliver's trust since he feels that Oliver does truly want an open marriage, fuming to Jessica later about the many former boyfriends he fears Oliver is going to be with, and is being stubborn. He continues to make many efforts to speak with Oliver, constantly apologizing, but Oliver rejects his offer and his many attempts to make amends. Believing things to be over, Christian books his ticket for Britain. However, hours before the flight, Jessica locks Christian and Oliver in their room together in an effort to force them to talk things through. During this time period, Christian once again declares his love for Oliver and convinces him that he is sincerely repentant over his infidelity. Oliver, still heartbroken, asks from him to give him all the details of his fling in Britain, believing it will help him to forgive him. Christian reiterates his love for Oliver, saying nothing will ever compare to being with him because his love belongs to him, and they eventually kiss and have make-up sex.

Afterwards, Christian asks Oliver to come with him in Britain for a while. Oliver accepts his offer, believing that their stay in Britain together will help improve their relationship. Oliver returns to Düsseldorf and visits Christian in Britain a few times.

Despite Christian promising Oliver they will manage the distance between them, they grow apart.

Oliver develops feelings for his roommate Sascha, which aren't mutual. Feeling guilty, Oliver books a flight to England to be with Christian, who isn't happy with Oliver coming over randomly as he is very busy with work. While on the phone with him, Oliver accuses Christian of not being keen to see him at all and flies to Britain anyway.

Later, when Christian fails to come to Düsseldorf as planned, ruining Oliver's surprise party, Oliver has a one-night stand with a patron at NoLimits. Jessica tries to convince Oliver not to tell Christian as Christian has already cheated on Olli twice before. Oliver calls Christian and says there's something seriously wrong with their marriage. Christian immediately guesses Oliver had a one-night stand and Oliver confesses. Angry, Christian orders Oliver to fly to Britain immediately.

When Oliver returns to Düsseldorf, he announces their divorce, this time for good.

In June 2014, Oliver receives the divorce papers from Christian's lawyers. He signs them, takes off his ring and toasts to new beginnings. This is the end of Chrolli.

References[edit]