Joe Manganiello on ‘Magic Mike,’ ‘True Blood’ and Hanging Out With Wolves

Actor Joe Manganiello has learned to take a light-hearted approach to his career.  How could he not?  He plays a werewolf on HBO’s True Blood and a stripper in Steven Soderbergh’s new movie Magic Mike.

The 35-year-old spoke to GQ.com about filming Magic Mike and told the magazine that he and co-star Matt Bomer “were drama school classmates at Carnegie Mellon and there was a point on set where we just looked at each other and were like, Ancient Greek to Chekhov to Tennessee Williams to male stripping.  I just don’t take myself very seriously.”

Manganiello admits that some might not think he has the chops to be considered a serious actor.  He noted, “I come from a classical theater background, but I don’t feel like I have anything to prove.  I’ve talked to actors and been like Oh, wow, man, Congrats.  Your show got huge ratings last night!  And they’ll be, I’m not in this for the ratings.  I’m in it for the craft.  Yeah, dude, I know you are.  I got it.  But come on!  Big ratings, that’s fun.  I’m in it for the fun.”

But it’s not like the actor doesn’t put in the effort.  For his role as werewolf Alcide, he actually “hung out with live wolves.”  He said, “I spent time with them, observed them.  I watched where their growls came from, how they move, how they interacted.  I looked at posture charts and what it means when their tail is tucked a certain way.  It’s funny because I just did the cover of Entertainment Weekly, in character, and I didn’t even realize it but I was growling during the shoot when I got in wolf-like poses.”

True Blood airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO, and Magic Mike hits theaters June 29.

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