Joe Manganiello has said that he remembers going to a haunted house in his hometown of Pittsburgh and being afraid while yet fascinated by the supernatural creatures of Vampires. Here’s the scene he recalls to the New York Post in the interview below:
A vampire lies still, eyes closed, in an open coffin.
The floor creaks as a 3-year-old boy and his scared-out-of-her-wits mom walk slowly through the dark house, unsure of their fate.
Then, suddenly, the vampire opens his eyes, flashes his fangs, picks up the young mortal before him, places him inside the coffin and closes the lid.
This is not Bon Temps, La., and a scene from the much-anticipated Season 3 of “True Blood,” but rather a kiddie haunted house set up for Halloween in Pittsburgh, Pa., circa 1979. And that little boy was a very unafraid Joe Manganiello who’s now, oddly enough, still meddling in enemy territory.
Sookie (Anna Paquin) is in good hands (and strong, beefy arms) with werewolf Alcide (Joe Manganiello) as her protector.
The 33-year-old hunk of a man is the series’ newest piece of meat, Alcide Herveaux, and he’s hungry like a wolf. Because he is one.
The fangtastic series, which begins again tonight, goes lupine this season, and Manganiello, with his burly beard and ripped physique, is leading the pack.
“I wanted to be a monster so bad as a kid,” says the actor, whose character enters the story line to protect Sookie as she seeks out her beloved Bill, kidnapped at the end of last season. “Now I am. It’s awesome.”
Manganiello was already watching the HBO series when a friend alerted him to true-blood.net, where diehard fans were beginning to list their preferred choices to play the werewolf character who first appears in book three of Charlaine Harris’ “The Southern Vampire Mysteries.”
He was at the top of their list.
“In the books, the character is described as being really big, so I guess I had that going for me,” says the 6-foot-5 stud, known to many as Brad from “How I Met Your Mother” and Owen from “One Tree Hill.”
So after immersing himself in the books, Manganiello began bugging his agents and managers about auditioning for the part — a whole year and a half before series creator Alan Ball and his team even began casting for it.
When the call to audition finally came, he was ready to howl.
“I wanted somebody who had a very different feel from the vampires,” says Ball. “Someone who was very warm. A big shaggy dog, actually. But also, very sexy and quietly heroic. And Joe just brought all that to the table.”
Once he got the part, Manganiello went straight to the primary source to prepare — watching National Geographic specials on the wild animals.
“If I’m playing a werewolf, I want to study wolves,” he says. “Not necessarily werewolves, or other people’s performances of them. I wanted my take to be fresh. I wanted to fill up my tank with as much wolfiness as I possibly could.”