Posted: 28 Dec 2011 03:22 PM PST
Joe Manganiello, who plays a werewolf in True Blood, prepared for his role by watching his pet dogs.
COMPARISONS with the Twilight vampire movies come with the territory for the cast of True Blood, but as beefy as Twilight's resident werewolf is, True Blood's Joe Manganiello could probably eat two Taylor Lautners and still have room left over for dessert.
Not that he eats much dessert, mind you. At a press event in Los Angeles, California, the actor – who stands at 1.95m tall and weighs 100kg – politely declines the plate of pastries a reporter pushes towards him.
He is "in training", he explains, for a role in the movie What To Expect When You're Expecting, a pregnancy-themed romantic comedy to be released next year starring Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez, and in which Manganiello has been cast as the eye candy.
The usually sombre female journalist from Poland dissolves into giggles when he says this, which proves to be a fairly common reaction to the handsome 34-year-old, a classically trained theatre actor with the body of an underwear model.
On True Blood, he plays the werewolf Alcide, who has become a firm fan favourite despite being introduced only in the third season of the series which started airing last year.
This is due in no small part to the many scenes in which he takes off his clothes, including one this season where he and vampire Eric (played by Alexander Skarsgaard) go naked at a lake for little apparent reason.
All this has contributed to some rather forward requests from fans. "I get men who want me to let their wives sit on my lap. That's a little strange."
He also gets "fans who heard that wolf saliva helps people's wounds heal quicker, so they've asked me to lick them", and gay men who "mostly want to know my workouts – what am I doing, who am I training with, what am I eating".
"We've got some freaky fans out there," he says, chuckling.
He does not help matters by his frequent references to his own impressive physical dimensions.
A graduate of the venerable Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, he believes he was cast as Alcide because there just "aren't a lot of six-foot-five, 220-pound athletic, classical theatre-trained people out there" who can "look like this giant werewolf".
To prepare for the role, he watched documentaries about wolves and studied his two pet dogs. "I have a little Yorkshire terrier who tries to let me know that he's the boss ... That kind of spirit, of this eight-pound thing trying to out-macho and out-alpha me at 220 pounds – there's a lot of that in Alcide."
The actor, who is now single having recently split from his fiancee, says he is glad his career did not quite take off a decade ago when, fresh out of drama school, he landed a role in the 2002 movie Spider-Man – and then proceeded to not work for four years.
It is just as well, because he would have been too immature to handle success at that age, he says.
Then True Blood came along and offered "just the right part at the right time". Before, the artistic and athletic sides to his personality and resume "didn't really fit together – until now".
"I think this part found me as much as I found it," he says. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network
> New episodes of True Blood Season Four premieres every Thursday night until Jan 19 on HBO (Astro Ch 411) / HBO HD (Astro Ch 431).Full content generated by Get Full RSS.
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