Joe Manganiello

Vampire and werewolf drama "True Blood," HBO's Golden Globe- and Emmy award-winning series, has added some new blood to its cast: Mount Lebanon native—and diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan—Joe Manganiello, who admits to bleeding a bit of black and gold.



Photo by Rodolfo Martinez

He’s tall (6 feet 5 inches), dark (his jet-black locks have a touch of salt and pepper perfectly accentuating his temple region) and handsome (… and chiseled …and fit). Joe Manganiello also is smart (he has a bachelor’s from Carnegie Mellon University), and he gives back to the community (he supports Until There’s a Cure, a national organization dedicated to eradicating HIV/AIDS by raising awareness and funds through his public service announcements). Add that all up, and you’ll have no problem figuring out why this man is such a hot commodity.

Executives in Hollywood certainly believe in his marketability, and “True Blood” creator and producer Alan Ball has signed on Manganiello to play werewolf Alcide Herveaux on HBO’s hit drama series. So now we can include “owwwwlll” with all the other plus factors this Mount Lebanon native has going for him.

“True Blood,” based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries, a series of novels by Charlaine Harris, takes place in Bon Temps, a fictional small town in Louisiana. The plot centers on Sookie Stackhouse (played by Anna Paquin), a telepathic waitress at a local bar caught in a love triangle involving two vampires, played by Stephen Moyer and Alex Skarsgard, both of whom are vying for Sookie’s favor.

For the third season, Joe Manganiello enters the picture as Alcide, who is now caught in a “love square”—as Joe refers to it—with Sookie and the vampires.Joe Manganiello and Anna Paquin on the set of "True Blood." Photo courtesy of HBO

“My character has a really big presence, and he is vying for Sookie’s attention, too,” explains Manganiello.

After his update about love on the set, Joe wanted to touch base about his first love—the Pittsburgh Steelers. “How’s Ben doing?” Manganiello asked (it’s been noted that he’s sweet). Manganiello is anxious and excited about another season of great Steelers football. “I bleed black and gold,” he admits.

If you need further proof, take a look at DieHardz, the 2007 short documentary he produced and directed about diehard Steelers fans convening at a Los Angeles bar. (Watch it below.) That’s just one way Manganiello has brought his love of Steelers football to Los Angeles, where he now lives.

His passion for the game makes even more sense when you discover that this 1995 Mount Lebanon High School graduate was a varsity football player at the school, not to mention serving as the captain of the basketball and volleyball teams. “I thought I was going to play basketball in college,” says Manganiello, who makes use of the brawn of his athletic physique in his acting gigs.

Nowadays, Manganiello has found his way around the tube, with appearances on almost every network and cable channel. To name a few: He’s been sexy bartender Owen on the CW’s “One Tree Hill” for three seasons, hot guy Brad on CBS’s “How I Met Your Mother” and Officer Litchman on NBC’s “ER.” He’s also been featured on NBC’s “Scrubs” and CBS’s “CSI:NY” and “CSI: Miami.”

If you stay couch-bound during commercial breaks from watching a show Manganiello isn’t on—don’t worry. You also can catch him on a recent Taco Bell commercial, where he’s gunning for a chicken tortada on a busy street playing—what else?—tall, dark and hungry.

Q+A

PM: When did you know you’d be gunning for an acting career?
J.M.: It was always a childhood dream, and then during my senior year in high school, I played Jud in our production of Oklahoma. I loved it.

PM: What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?
J.M.: My first audition at CMU, I didn’t make the cut, and I wasn’t accepted into their acting program, so I attended the University of Pittsburgh for a year. I worked my butt off doing theater, auditioning for every- and anything. At the end of that year, I auditioned again at CMU and was one of 17 students selected for the acting program.

PM: What was it like growing up in Mount Lebanon?
J.M.: I loved watching monster movies and Boris Karloff films. My dad had to hide all the Stephen King books. I wanted to be those scary characters. I attended St. Bernard School in Mount Lebanon, and one of the nuns told our class that “God could move mountains if your faith is pure.” So I started getting up at 5:30 a.m. to be ready for 6 a.m. Mass. Weeks on end, I would pray that God would make me into a werewolf. Twenty-five years later I play one on TV.

PM: Which brings me to your next project about prayer.
J.M.: It’s in development right now that I’ll be part of the cast for the new CBS series called “Livin’ on a Prayer,” a Pittsburgh-set comedy about a couple of working-class characters. During production they have me wearing Steelers gear on set— you’ll have to look for the show in the fall.

Look for Joe Manganiello on “True Blood,” premiering June 13 on HBO.


Below: Joe Manganiello's 2007 documentary about diehard Steeler fans, "DieHardz."

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in May

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in May

The month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
Best Doctors in Pittsburgh 2016

Best Doctors in Pittsburgh 2016

The list of the regions's 687 leading physicians across 80 specialities.
Making The Rounds: What It Means to be a Doctor in Pittsburgh

Making The Rounds: What It Means to be a Doctor in Pittsburgh

In a city known for world-class care, a life dedicated to health is rewarding, challenging, and innovative at every level — from med school to the board room.
Why Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay is Cornered

Why Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay is Cornered

Can McLay reshape the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in his polite, communication-heavy, community-friendly, racially sensitive, 21st-century image?
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Harold Hayes' Biggest Retirement Fear, It's Not What You Think

Harold Hayes' Biggest Retirement Fear, It's Not What You Think

Hayes leaves KDKA TV after nearly 37 years with his legacy as one of the city's most respected, fair and accurate reporters – and his priceless sense of humor – firmly intact.
What to Watch Out For in This Year’s Pittsburgh Marathon

What to Watch Out For in This Year’s Pittsburgh Marathon

Marathon weekend can be a challenge for both runners, who are trying to finish the grueling race, and spectators who are simply trying to get around. We've got the info you need, whether you're running or watching from the sidelines.
Philly Chefs With Pittsburgh Roots Win Big at the James Beard Awards

Philly Chefs With Pittsburgh Roots Win Big at the James Beard Awards

Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook have picked up two James Beard awards this year, and Solomonov is in the running for one more.
Seven Cool Things About Dormont's Hollywood Theater

Seven Cool Things About Dormont's Hollywood Theater

After a decades-long cycle of closing and reopening, Pittsburgh’s oldest single-screen theater continues to enchant visitors.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our new, daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in May

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in May

The month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
Best Doctors in Pittsburgh 2016

Best Doctors in Pittsburgh 2016

The list of the regions's 687 leading physicians across 80 specialities.
Making The Rounds: What It Means to be a Doctor in Pittsburgh

Making The Rounds: What It Means to be a Doctor in Pittsburgh

In a city known for world-class care, a life dedicated to health is rewarding, challenging, and innovative at every level — from med school to the board room.
Why Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay is Cornered

Why Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay is Cornered

Can McLay reshape the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in his polite, communication-heavy, community-friendly, racially sensitive, 21st-century image?
The Eaglets Have Landed

The Eaglets Have Landed

The bald eagles nesting in Hays once again have given birth to a new generation. We take you into the nest to see how quickly the two chicks are growing.
Review: Justin Severino Knocks It Out of the Park With Morcilla

Review: Justin Severino Knocks It Out of the Park With Morcilla

Severino's follow-up to Cure is already winning national accolades.
Edit Module

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Harold Hayes' Biggest Retirement Fear, It's Not What You Think

Harold Hayes' Biggest Retirement Fear, It's Not What You Think

Hayes leaves KDKA TV after nearly 37 years with his legacy as one of the city's most respected, fair and accurate reporters – and his priceless sense of humor – firmly intact.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Umami Izakaya (Finally) Open in Lawrenceville

Umami Izakaya (Finally) Open in Lawrenceville

The much-anticipated Japanese pub from Tamari's Roger Li and Round Corner Cantina's Derek Burnell will serve food and drink deep into the night.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The quiet rise of Pittsburgh's tea scene gives us a few favorite gems.

Comments


Digital Jukeboxes are Evil, Bar-Ruining Monsters

Digital Jukeboxes are Evil, Bar-Ruining Monsters

The case against TouchTunes, the streaming music loudspeaker that can't stop screwing up the vibe at local bars.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
A By-The-Numbers Draft Has Its Advantages For Steelers This Time

A By-The-Numbers Draft Has Its Advantages For Steelers This Time

For the Steelers, this is a draft that’s long on need but short on intrigue.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Off to the Races

Off to the Races

Want to shade yourself in style at Derby Day and the PNC Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Spring Hat Luncheon? Look no further.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Your Mother Deserves Better than This Awful Mother's Day Movie

Your Mother Deserves Better than This Awful Mother's Day Movie

Reviews of "Mother's Day," "Keanu," "Green Room" and local film news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
What Type of Favor Do You Favor?

What Type of Favor Do You Favor?

Planning your wedding and can’t think of the best favor that will represent you and your big day? We spoke with three Pittsburgh-area couples to learn more about making the best and most personalized decision possible.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Phipps Kicks off the Planting Season

Phipps Kicks off the Planting Season

Welcome spring at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens with the Great Plant Auction, Party in the Tropics and May Market.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
STEM Event for Girls Planned at La Roche College

STEM Event for Girls Planned at La Roche College

The Tech Savvy program from the American Association of University Women aims to interest middle school girls in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

Comments