‘Physically Imposing:’ Joe Manganiello Talks ‘True Blood’

True Blood star Joe Manganiello said that working on the show is “a bit like being a kid on Halloween every day.”

“I get to play the werewolf and there’s all these vampires, witches, fairies, were-panthers, ghosts and goblins,” the actor told the U.K.’s GQ.com. “It’s a ton of fun and aside from that it’s also very fulfilling in an adult way in that the dialogue is so rich and so good.”

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The actor, who plays werewolf Alcide Herveaux in a cast composed mostly of vampires, sat down with the website to answer questions about sticking to his guns, kinky True Blood fans, and playing a strong, “physically imposing” character in the hit HBO series.

Below are some of the highlights of Manganiello’s GQ&A.On the hardest part of his job:

“Probably matching the physical description of the character in the books. The workouts are just completely brutal. You know I really try to give this thing my all and Charlaine Harris described him as being “physically imposing”. That’s probably the toughest part.”

On not changing his difficult-to-pronounce last name, Manganiello (Man-gan-ello):

“When I first got out of drama school, my original manager tried to get me to change my name because  people were having trouble spelling it and saying it. I said something to the effect of, ‘F*** that, they’re going to have to learn.’ …I never considered it for a second. Funny, I told my father that story and he said, ‘It’s a good thing you didn’t change it because you wouldn’t have been allowed home.'”

On kinky True Blood fans:

True Blood fans in general are so passionate. And kinky at the same time. We have the kinkiest fanbase ever. We’re probably on the kinkiest show ever. I always say that there’s two types of True Blood fans: the ones that haven’t see the show at all and the ones that are completely obsessed by it. I do get a lot of guys that want to talk to me at the gym about working out. I’m always wary – I feel like I’m being hit on.”

On portraying a strong, “real” man:

“I just think so many shows in this day and age are not about really strong men. American comedies especially are all about these men being browbeaten by their wives and it’s impossible for me to watch. I didn’t see real men dealing with real issues on television, I didn’t see them in films and it seemed it was in vogue to emasculate male characters. It was getting to the point where I was disgusted and sickened by most of the scripts that I was reading and didn’t want to do them. I even said no to a lot of them because I didn’t want to be responsible for portraying a man that way. So what’s great is that I get a lot of guys coming up to me saying how much they love my character. He has that strong, tough exterior, but he’s very sensitive on the inside. That is really fun for me to play and I think it’s something that resonates with men.”

Maganiello, who was recently photographed outside London’s ITV studios, will be featured in the upcoming issue of the U.K.’s GQ Style. New episodes of True Blood can be seen on Sundays on HBO.

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