Fangirl Fridays – Joe Manganiello
Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf?
If you are a regular reader here, you might have noticed that I have a
|Exactly, JD. Exactly.|
My love for him started, as it did for most people, with True Blood. I had watched the first two seasons and read all of the books that were out at the time, and I needed more. So I went in search of casting news about my favorite character, Alcide Herveaux (yes, I am Team Alcide). Lo and behold, there was an article, and more importantly pictures, of this completely and totally gorgeous man with a ridiculously toned body. I was hooked. I needed to know everything there was to know about this Joe Manganiello.
Read more about my love of this man, and prepare for some ridiculous fangirling, after the break...
Oh, Joe. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..
His Devastatingly Good Looks
All right, let's just get this out of the way. This is what drew me to Joe in the first place, so I can't just gloss over it. I'm just going to jump right in and embarrass myself before moving on. Ready? Here we go.
Before we end this totally embarrassing display of fangirling and move on to more legitimate reasons for loving this man, we must talk about his absolutely incredible physique. It is almost unreal how toned and muscular he is. Obviously, he is never going to be a small guy, but this is ridiculous. But I actually gained some respect for him when I learned of his reasons for bulking up for his role as Alcide.
It was really important. Charlaine went into a lot of detail in the books about Alcide being giant – about having arms that look like boulders. Like Sookie could do pull-ups on them. So I had that in my head. Vampires can get away with having very slight builds and the audience will still believe that they're super powerful. Werewolves are animals and in my mind they should be very muscular. Not an extra ounce of fat on them. Really ripped. I wanted people to look at Alcide and think, "wow, he's a super strong animal." I didn’t want them to have to imagine that he’s a super strong animal. It was also important for me to get a tan because I think it would off-set my character in terms of all the other characters.
I respect someone who takes his work so seriously. And that is how he sees keeping himself in shape—it's part of his job. He works out twice a day, six days a week. That's insanity! Bu, he knows what fans expect from someone playing a werewolf, and he is trying to give us what we want. And, Good Lord, did he give us what we want....
His Unique Background
Joe and I share a similar background. No, I'm not from Pittsburgh, and I'm not Sicilian. I'm talking about our experiences. Joe was an athlete in his youth. He played volleyball, basketball, and football, but he always related more to the artsy kids. So after some cajoling from a teacher, he tried out and got the part of Jud in a stage production of Oklahoma. And eventually, he gave up athletics to do theatre. My background is quite similar. I played softball, soccer, and volleyball, but gave it up to do theatre. That's where both of our passions lie. That's where we both found our niche. Theatre people are very accepting, in general. So since Joe didn't feel quite at home with the jocks, he moved to theatre. I was the same. I never felt comfortable with the jocks, but theatre is where I found my home.
He attended Carnegie Mellon University's esteemed School of Drama. They accept 15–20 students into their program per year. I know people sometimes doubt Joe's abilities, but I strongly believe that we haven't seen nearly all he is capable of yet. For my part, I will tell you to watch the True Blood scene where Alcide tells Debbie's parents what happened to her. That is some damn fine acting right there.
|Joe (far left, in the sunglasses) in a production at Carnegie Mellon. (Source)|
You can also catch him making nerdy theatre jokes about Chekhov sometimes, and he says that one of his dream roles to play is Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire. Which brings me to my next point...
His Nerdy Side
Joe is a self-professed comic book nerd. He says that he used to go through comic books so fast as a kid that he resorted to stealing them. I don't condone stealing, but I understand why he did it. Readers are like addicts. We need our next fix and we need it now. For the record, later in life, he returned all the stolen comics to the shop.
His love of comic books and superheroes is why Joe puts such effort into preparing for Alcide. He recalls being upset when actors in superhero movies didn't match the physicality of the hero they were portraying. So for him, there was no choice but to submit himself to near torture to convince the nerds out there that he is a werewolf.
Joe also campaigned hard to star in the new Superman reboot. But, alas, True Blood's schedule kept him away. However, when asked about the possibility of taking over Batman from Christian Bale, he had this to say:
From your mouth to God’s ears, man. I mean of course, I grew up—as a kid, I read comic books and I watched every single comic book movie that ever… You know, I was a big sci-fi fan. I was just that kid. I’m a fanboy at heart. So, yeah, that is on my radar.
Did you hear that? He's a fanboy.
His Terrible Vision
Every nerd needs glasses. Joe is no exception. I know this sounds weird, but this is one of the things I love about him. I have really bad vision too, so it helps me connect with him. His vision is so bad, he claims it can't be fixed with LASIK. Plus, I have a little bit of a glasses kink. So I find him even more attractive in his glasses. Fun fact: The glasses he wears at the beginning of Magic Mike are his actual glasses. Look at him, who could resist this man in his glasses??
His Relationship with His Wolf
No, this is not a euphemism. Get your mind out of the gutter. I'm talking about Joe's tentative friendship with the wolf who plays Alcide. His name is Thunder and he's a North American Timber Wolf. The trainers were hesitant to let them meet, since Thunder is a real, live wolf. But Joe wanted to get to know his wolfy counterpart, and more importantly, observe him in action. So after learning a few tips from the trainers, Joe met Thunder. Now they are on somewhat friendly terms, and Thunder will let Joe pet him and take him for walks on the set. I love that Joe realized this was an important bond for a man playing a werewolf. And even though I'm sure it was terrifying, he did it anyway.
His Love for His Team
Joe was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. So he was raised to love the Steelers. He bleeds black and gold. Why does this endear him to me so much? Truth be told, I'm not much of a football fan. But I am a baseball fan. And, being from a long line of South Side Chicagoans, I bleed White Sox black and white. I love my team. So I love that he loves his team so much. He goes to several games a year, when his schedule allows. He has been the ceremonial Terrible Towel waver at a game or two. I'm not really sure what that means, but he was very excited about it. You can catch him wearing Steelers gear quite often in season and out. Apparently, he comes from a line of superstitious Steelers fans. They have their lucky Terrible Towels and jerseys and will even go as far as not moving from a certain position if the Steelers start to win. And when asked who his heroes are, after naming all of the men and women of our armed forces, he adds the Steelers to that list. Just like a little boy who idolizes his team. I love it.
Joe and Matt Bomer, out-and-proud actor, have been friends since they attended Carnegie Mellon together, going on 15 years now. Because of his friendship with Matt and others, Joe has been very active in the gay rights campaign. He, along with several True Blood cast members, did a video for the It Gets Better video project. And he has attended several benefits for the Trevor Project. He gave a very moving speech about Matt Bomer and his partner, while presenting Matt with an award at an event for the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network. He also gave a speech about his own experiences with bullying at a Human Rights Campaign event. His support of the gay rights movement, and children's charity Claire's Place, make me fall even more deeply in love with this man.
His Willingness to Make A Fool of Himself
I'm just going to let these speak for themselves...
|Yes, he growls on command...|
|And body rolls...|
|He also give out lap dances. Where do I sign up?|
|I just....there are no words..|
And finally.....he will put on a prosthetic beer belly and let Kylie Minogue eat Doritos off of it.
If all of these reasons haven't yet convinced you, here are some random fun facts about the amazing Joe Manganiello:
- He is excellent at knife throwing and was considering joining the FBI before he turned to acting. (I told you he'd be a perfect Zane, minions.)
- From the age of 16 to 21, his job was to dress up as Captain Morgan and go to bars.
- One of his favorite gifts is a stuffed Eeyore from Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer.
- He's trained as a boxer and used to be a sparring partner for an NHL player.
- He loves Disneyland and karaoke.
- His favorite movie is Fight Club.
Still not sold?
Well Saucy Readers, have I convinced any more of you to join me on the dark side? I know my rampant fangirling of this man has caused a couple of the Wenches to join me in my worship of him. What about you? Let me know in the comments!!
**All GIFs come from Tumblr.