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Throwback Thursday: Joe Manganiello Is a Beard-Loving Wolf

Throwback Thursday: Joe Manganiello Is a Beard-Loving Wolf

The actor embraces his True Blood persona

It's easy to think that Joe Manganiello owes a lot to show creator Alan Ball, who cast him as werewolf Alcide Herveaux in season 3 of HBO's hit series True Blood. But Manganiello took full advantage of the opportunity. The actor dove into the mostly naked role -- which required the actor to sculpt his body -- with an appreciation and understanding what Ball was giving fans on screen.

"I like working hard," Manganiello toldOut in 2012. "It's my letter of gratitude to Alan Ball for giving me this opportunity. Vampires are animated corpses. They can get away with not looking like they go to a gym. I'm a wild animal -- that's how I should look."

While fans gawked at the actor's form, Manganiello saw the chance to play Alcide as something more than just being a pretty face.

"I love my job so much," he explained. "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."

Four seasons later, HBO is putting a final stake in the series. For Manganiello, that means exploring live outside of Bon Temps. First up for the actor is slipping into the director's chair for the stripper documentary, La Bare, which tells the real story behind Magic Mike.

Manganiello may be looking at life beyond Alcide but he still has that beard.

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Stacy Lambe