During a recent phone interview with Collider, True Blood’s Joe Manganiello talked about how crazy the Season 6 finale was and how it effected his character, Alcide.
Below is the part of their interview with Joe that pertains to True Blood.
To read the entire interview with Joe, go to Collider.com to find out about how Joe would love to reunite with his Magic Mike co-stars for a sequel, his Magic Mike-related documentary, what made now the right time to do a health and fitness book and taking on the role of Stanley Kowalski in the Yale Repertory Theatre production of A Streetcar Named Desire.
NOTE, this interview was published prior to Sunday night’s airing of the finale of True Blood.
Collider: Obviously, you can’t reveal details of the finale, but what was your initial reaction when you read the script?
MANGANIELLO: The finale is pretty crazy. Reading it, my brain switched into seeing it the way that a fan would see what we’re doing. I was very shocked. I know this was something the writers that have remained with the show in Alan Ball’s wake have been wanting to do for a long time. It’s pretty exciting.
When you think back to where Alcide started, how different are things now, with the journey that he’s gone through? Does it feel anything like you thought it would be, or does it feel completely different from what you expected?
MANGANIELLO: As far as where the character has gone, this is where I thought he was gonna go. I thought he was gonna go there sooner, but this is what I expected, after the conversations I had with (author) Charlaine Harris. This is a more detailed version of where she thought the character should go, and I certainly had those conversations with Alan Ball, before he left, about Alcide going there.
How does Alcide feel about where things are at now?
MANGANIELLO: Unfortunately, I think they’re exactly what he expected. I think there’s a reason why he never took an active role in a pack. He’d been a pack member before, but there was a reason why he left that life. I think this is what he was afraid was gonna happen and, sure enough, it is happening. After killing three successive pack masters, he finally decided, “Okay, I’m gonna do something different and take it over, rather than walk away from it.” But yeah, it’s a complete mess. Werewolves are, for the most part, pretty terrible people. There’s a reason why he continuously chooses non-werewolf people over his own kind.
At this point, is Alcide feeling like the pluses of being pack master don’t really outweigh all of the minuses?
MANGANIELLO: Yeah! I think most werewolf women that he has run into have been pretty manipulative and deceitful. As far as perks go, the sexual perks come with a price. They’re very self-seeking. It’s not like they’re for free or for fun. And at the snap of a finger, that same person is going to turn on him. Rikki (Kelly Overton) completely turned on him, on a dime. It sucks. What’s good about being pack master, other than the three-ways?!
Are you always surprised that somehow every season seems to get racier, or have you come to expect that now?
MANGANIELLO: I’ve come expect it, for sure. Season 2 went to Dallas. Season 3 involved Jackson and the Mississippi crew. Season 4 involved the Shreveport witches. The show just kept getting bigger and bigger. Now, there’s been a concerted effort, since about half-way through this season, to make it smaller, and make it about the inhabitants of Bon Temps versus the rest of the world. That’s something that was exciting for all of us to see, in the scripts, and it’s great for the audience. It has that small-town feel that it had in the first season, which is something we wanted to get back to.
With such a big ensemble on this show, are there any actors you haven’t gotten to work with yet, that you’d like to have a storyline or scenes with?
MANGANIELLO: I think I’ve worked with almost everybody. I think Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) would be the only character I could think of, that I haven’t worked with. I’ve worked with Chris Bauer, Ryan Kwanten, Carrie Preston, Nelsan Ellis, Rutina Wesley, and the rest of the vampires. Mike McMillian and I went to Carnegie Mellon, at the same time. I’d love to see Alcide and Steve Newlin, but I know how it would go. He hates vampires so much, it probably wouldn’t be friendly, but it would be funny. I love Mike. It would be fun to get to hang out with Mike.
The vampires have been in danger much more so than any of the other supernatural beings this season. Will things heat up for the werewolves?
MANGANIELLO: You had this little girl who’s a werewolf, and both of her parents are dead – one at the hands of Alcide and the other because of the Vampire Authority shift that Luna did. Now, she would have gone with her next of kin, which would be her grandma, but there were no police and you couldn’t have a custody battle. The authorities couldn’t be alerted because werewolves live in secrecy. So, Alcide is doing something like what the mafia would do, which is to serve as the police for people who can’t go to the police. He brought the girl back to her grandma. From there, Alcide is going to carry out the law for people who cannot go to the law. Alcide wants all the wolves in that compound, under one roof, and that’s related to all of the vampire craziness that’s gone on. I think it has trickled down. There’s a level of paranoia, and he’s acting accordingly. There are new rules for werewolf society, right now.
Were there any feelings of nervousness, at all, about changing showrunners this season, or is the show just such a well-oiled machine that it was a smooth transition?
MANGANIELLO: Well, the thing about it is that Brian Buckner, who has taken over as showrunner, was brought in during Season 1 to take over. Alan Ball was only going to run the show for one season, and then take off and go back to film. But, this show was such a success and he was having so much fun that he stuck around. And Buckner stuck around, as well. Instead of him taking over after one season, he took over after five, but we’re in good hands. He was the one who was going to take over, four years ago, so I don’t think there was really a question about that. There was an excitement this season because he and some of the other writers had a lot of ideas that they had been waiting to implement. Alan stepping down and him stepping up gave them the opportunity to really try out some fun stuff. There was a real level of excitement.
Whether it’s True Blood or Magic Mike, if you have to strip down on camera, does it at least help that you’re not the only one who has to do it?
MANGANIELLO: At this point, I don’t care. It really doesn’t bother me. Once you’re the semi-naked guy in a room full of 200 women who aren’t, nothing phases you after that. You’re completely fine with it.
Have you given any thought about the direction you want to take your career in, once True Blood is finished?
MANGANIELLO: Oh, of course! There are a few different components to that, as evidenced by this past year. My brother has been a producer for the past eight years. He’s worked in music, television and film, so he runs the day-to-day of our company. We have a slate of original material that we own, that’s being developed right now. We’re getting that stuff ready for once the show is over. So, there will be a huge component of producing and acting that goes along with that.
I want to continue to work with good directors. That’s really my only thing. I was fortunate enough to work with Sam Raimi, and then Alan Ball, and then David Ayer. There are certainly some other directors, who I’ve met with over the years, that I didn’t get to work with because of my schedule on True Blood. While that’s frustrating, to an extent, it’s also exciting because I’ve gotten recognition by those people, for my work on the show. I’m looking forward to working with all those directors and being able to work on all those projects that I haven’t had time to do. And at some point, I’d like to get to Broadway and do a Broadway show. I’ve been talking for years about doing that, but that doesn’t work with my True Blood schedule either.