Joining a show when it is the hottest thing on TV must have be tough to do for Joe Manganiello, one of the new kids on the True Blood block. We know he worked hard to get ready for the part of Alcide and we look forward to seeing him in the upcoming episodes.
Recently, he talked about this experience with the New York Post’s “Pop Wrap” and part of that interview is below:
PopWrap: You’ve previously admitted to being a fan of “True Blood” before joining the show, so I’m curious what it’s like being on set?
Joe Manganiello: Yes, that’s right – big fan. The first table read was like being sucked into the television. I’d imagine it like being a kid who loves Michael Jordan and getting drafted into the NBA where you have to guard him. Being at the first table read was like that – I am watching the show from the front row but I have to get in there and be a part of it. There was a lot of adjustment. Adjustment and awe.
PW: And what about the first day shooting?
Joe: I remember filming the scene and literally thinking, “oh my god, that’s Sookie Stackhouse!” Seeing Lafayette in full makeup was another amazing thing. There’s never a dull moment. I sit there and play my part, but I also have a front row seat to Ryan Kwanten and Chris Bauer doing their thing as I bite the inside of my cheek to keep from laughing in their takes. It’s really awesome.
PW: Your first episode teased a Sookie/Alcide connection — how does their relationship develop this season?
Joe: [laughs] It’s the million dollar question. Alcide’s in a dark, lonely, sad, heartbroken place because his fiance, Debbie Pelt, has left him. His psycho ex girlfriend – she’s still floating around, causing trouble. Then you’ve got Sookie going through her trials and tribulations with Bill. I think if you stick people in that situation – this big, strong, protective bodyguard with a girl, both heartbroken, sparks will happen. There’s a bit of lost puppy going on there.
PW: You’re talking about Alcide’s physicality — how important was it for you to bulk up?
Joe: 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.
PW: Was it difficult?
Joe: Sure, but [laughs] well I was lucky, my mom is Half Austrian and comes from this long line of these giant austrian athletes. I remember my mom doing double bicep flexes and her arms were just ripped. She had like Madonna arms. She would flex and say, “that’s where you get it kid.” So I have my mother to thank.
PW: You mentioned Alcide’s ex, Debbie, earlier — can we expect fireworks when they get together?
Joe: Yes, they have a very volatile relationship. When they were together there was a lot of passion, but now that things have gone sideways, it’s very volatile and they get back into it very quickly.
To read the rest of this interview, click here.