'True Blood' hunk on landing Alcide: 'I started crying'

Now that you’ve had a few weeks to get used to the idea of Joe Manganiello in the role of Alcide, it’s time to get to know the man behind True Blood‘s newest monster. In Part 1 of an exclusive two-part Q&A, the One Tree Hill hunk opens up about the phone call that changed his life, the childhood incident that foreshadowed his casting, and the punishing “werewolf workout” that will turn him into a half-human beast.

How did you find out that you won the role?
JOE MANGANIELLO:
I had three meetings with Alan Ball. [After the last one], I got a call from my agent and manager. And whenever you get a call from your agent and manager, you have a pretty good idea that something good is about to happen.

What was your reaction when they told you?
MANGANIELLO:
I’m not afraid to admit that I started crying. I was just so excited. It’s a dream come true. When I was a little kid, the nun at my elementary school said if you pray for something hard enough, it’ll happen. And I would pray every day with all of my heart that God would turn me into a werewolf. And when it didn’t happen, I kind of thought, “You know what? Maybe this stuff doesn’t work. Maybe I’m getting gypped.” So here it is 25 years later and my prayers got answered and I’m going to be a werewolf.

What was it about being a werewolf that appealed to you?
MANGANIELLO:
I just loved Halloween. When I was 4, my mother dressed me up as a vampire and brought me to a haunted house. When I think about it now, bringing a 4-year-old kid to a haunted house is pretty intense. There was a vampire in the haunted house that jumped out of a coffin and I went up and tried to climb into the coffin with him. He wound up picking me up and putting me in the coffin with him and closing the lid. I [just] always liked monsters. There was something interesting about having this thing inside of you that you can’t control that comes out when you get angry. There’s something cathartic about the idea of having a beast inside you.

Are you a fan of the show?
MANGANIELLO:
Huge fan. I’ve seen every episode.

Have you met Anna Paquin yet?
MANGANIELLO:
Not yet. They wanted me to read with her. That was going to be my final audition, a chemistry read with Anna. But she wasn’t available so they had me come in by myself… I think it’s going to be great. I’ve seen a ton of her movies going all the way back to The Piano. I’m excited.

When do you start shooting?
MANGANIELLO:
Late January, so I’ve got some time. Every day right now is all about the Werewolf Workout. It consists of Krav Maga, which is an Israeli fighting technique, and Cross Fit, which is kind of a gnarly crazy high-intensity workout. And I’m doing a little bit of weights in between.

Was this something Alan Ball asked you to do?
MANGANIELLO:
No. This is something I wanted to do on my own. I’m a big guy to begin with; I work out a lot anyway. In my mind, I see the character as having a big chest, big arms — ripped the way an animal would be. Vampires have a supernatural strength to them, so you can have a vampire that is a little slighter. But a werewolf is this big, powerful, half man, half animal. I want to get as close to that as I possibly can.

Wait, there’s more! In the second part of my Q&A, Manganiello tackles the hottest topics of all: How will Alan Ball’s Alcide differ from Charlaine Harris’ Alcide? How long is he committed to True Blood for? And should Sookie-Bill and Sookie-Eric fans be worried? Look for those answers (and more!) tomorrow morning!

Photo Credit: John M. Heller/Getty Images

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Comments (106 total) Add your comment
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  • Kenbud

    First?

    • Fatima

      People don’t do that here. Leave it for Perez.

      • Heather2

        What are you the moderator of this site or something that sets down all the rules for the bloggers? Screw that. It’s about having fun.
        Congrats on first, Kenbud.

      • EB

        No, Heather, Fatima’s not the moderator, but she should be. No one cares who’s “First”, and I agree, should be saved for Perez.

        I got your back, Fatima.

      • Devon Deeds

        I love this show shortpeopledate

      • cowboy

        wow, Fatima, pretty bitchy.

    • betty

      kenbud, i kinda hate you now.

    • darthwilson

      Who cares if you are the first one to post on a comments board. That’s pretty stupid if you ask me.

      • ronnytucker

        How about who gives a crap either way?

  • Kenbud

    WOW! Never been first ….. well, if I had my way, Bill and Eric should be super worried. Alicide is a much better fit for Sookie than those two could imagine. Their chemistry in the books just leaps off the pages.

    • Cindy

      Umm, no. He’s in love with a psycho bitch. Team Eric FTW!

      • Jocelyn

        I agree. Alcide kept leaving Sookie high and dry for that bitch Debbie. Eric is the only one who stuck with Sookie through everything and he never threw any girls in Sookie’s face like Bill did with Lorena and Selah and Alcide did with Debbie.

      • Ashley

        Yeah hes physically attracted to Sookie, but she was just a kind of rebound think. He was always obsessed with Debbie and her mind games.

  • Christopher

    Really excited to see what he can bring to this– it’s always good when even the non-geeks are very much into their roles, and it looks like he gets that this one in not just a star-turn, it’s a helluva fun gig, too.

  • Sofia

    Like Alcide far for than Bill and Quinn but not as much as Eric. Imagine Askars and this hot, hot werewolf on screen together? Yum. Bill – please saty kidnapped for the rest of season 3 … or the rest of the show :)

    • Sofia

      *far more, *stay;
      damn, this man makes my vocab fly out the window.

      • Kylie

        Ohhh I will riot in the streets if anything happens to my Bill. Or at the very least have uncharitable thoughts about Alan Ball. I don’t ship so I could care less who ends up with Sookie. Just as long as they don’t mess with Bill. As for Joe I’m happy to see he follows in the good looking tradition of our True Blood boys. Looking forward to seeing his portrayal of Alcide.

      • Donna

        lol, wow, Eric and Alcide, gosh give me a cold shower when the both of them appear together on the show! Yummy! Makes me speechless too!

      • Donna

        Kylie, Bill who?

      • Kylie

        Oh, Donna, Donna. Enjoy your boys, but really no need to hate.

    • Ashley

      Totally agree about Quinn and Bill…cant stand Quinn, Bills second to last, and like Eric and Sam. Alcide i dont know about, just because of Debbie Pelt.

  • Amandalynn

    Ken, I agree that Sookie/Alcide match was good in the books; but if she was going with a were, I would choose Quinn. That is the casting that I’m waiting to see happen. I hope that Ball writes Alcide different than in the books, in the books, he was only truly present for one whole book and a side mention in the others to follow. I think that his character could be expanded more. But, I’ll wait and see…Ball hasn’t let me down yet!!

  • Ronnie Deshe

    Who the hell is Alcide?? I’ve watched the last two seasons of True Blood and have absolutely no idea.

    • Amandalynn

      Without giving too much away, Alcide appears in book 3 as someone who helps Sookie look for Bill. He is a werewolf and Sookie can read their minds, but it’s a little cloudier than humans.

  • Ronnie Deshe

    Was Alcide the queen?

    • TaraB

      Ronnie – Alcide was just cast (read above article). You haven’t seen him in the show yet. He’s only in the books so far.

  • Stephanie

    Ronnie, Alcide is a character from the books.

    I am so excited they are going to introduce the were community in the next season.

    • Stephanie

      *I meant to say he hasn’t been introduced on the show yet.

  • Heather2

    I have not read the books, therefore, have no clue who Alcide is, but I love True Blood and am excited to see the addition of a werewolf to the storyline.

    • Bibi

      The books are really different from what’s on TV. I wonder if they considered Eduardo Verastegui for this part.

  • Stephanie

    I can’t wait until June. Season 3 is gonna kick butt. HBO is re-showing Season 1 starting tonite!!

  • Yesenia

    Alcide and Quinn are the two men I am really looking forward to seeing.

    • melissa

      I’m with you!! I love Quinn!

  • elena

    I’ve loved Joe M ever since he did that stint on HIMYM as Marshall’s bromance interest. Guy is funny and adorable! Go him. I hope he brings it and is a great addition to a stellar cast.

    • jim

      Thank You, I couldnt place him. Its Brad. He went out on a date with Robin in a rerun last week, Barney punched him.

      • jim

        Right now, he and his hot body are on CSI:Miami. He’s everywhere.

  • Kim Manganiello

    SO VERY PROUD OF YOU JOE. LOVE YOU. — KIM

  • Diane Marie

    I am absolutely excited about Joe being on the show. I think he’s going to fit right in. Can’t wait for the new season.

  • Kathy

    Okay, so the fact that he prayed to be a werewolf when he was a little boy made me cry. That softened me up a bit about him. Though the fact that they didn’t see if he had chemistry with Anna scares me. Nothing worse than two actors without chemistry — see “It’s Complicated.” No chemistry = YAWN

    • Amy Leigh

      I’m with you there. I was hoping that the chemistry read was the last thing that got him the part. I’m crossing my fingers that it’s good.

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