Lone Wolf

2.21.2012

By William Van Meter

Joe Manganiello was a theater-loving jock who defended the arty kids in school, but never felt he belonged to any clique. Then he was cast in 'True Blood' and found his feet—all four of them.

Manganiello plays Big Dick Richie. He demurs when asked if he stuffed his G-string to fill out the challenging sobriquet. “Um, I’ll let everybody see the movie and they can decide,” he says sheepishly. He insists that no waxing was involved, however. “I don’t have any body hair,” he explains. “It stops at my neck. I’m part Sicilian and Armenian.”

The strippers in Magic Mike are more the types that shake it Chippendales-style for bachelorettes than gyrating go-go boys at your local gay watering hole. “This is Chan’s experience,” Manganiello says of the homoerotic, yet hetero-themed, flick.

Manganiello interviewed a former male stripper to research the era. “All the guys he worked with were dead or in rehab,” he says, “but it was the time of his life -- this insanely destructive lifestyle, this club life. It was sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll... and getting paid to take your clothes off and have sex.”

Manganiello promises Magic Mike will incorporate all of the complexities of the grind. “There are a lot of drugs, the overdosing, the depraved lifestyle,” he says. “But on the other side, it’s hilarious.”

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