Lone Wolf


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.

As Joe flips through the AC/DC discs, a teenager in a black heavy metal T-shirt walks up to him and rapidly says, “I’m going to be annoying, but I’ve got to shake your hand. I am obsessed with the show and I love the werewolves.”

"Thanks, brother,” Manganiello replies. “There’s going to be a whole new pack of werewolves on this season." He happily poses for some photos, towering over the fan. It’s easy to picture Manganiello as a teen metalhead/raver asking his favorite monster to pose with him for a souvenir.

Manganiello continues browsing and adds a Black Rebel Motorcycle Club CD to his stack. “I love my job so much,” he says. “It utilizes each part of my eclectic personality. There’s the kid who loves monsters, and I can be athletic, but I also love history and I can research wolves and Southern dialects. The dialogue is so rich -- it’s Tennessee Williams with Chekhovian layers -- and that fulfills my bookwormy playwright side. I’m so fortunate. Plus, I get to have a beard all the time."