Today marks the day we can finally say, there is less than one week until the premiere of "True Blood" season three! It's an event that's long in the making and one I plan to celebrate by bringing you exclusive cast interviews throughout the week, so stayed tuned for that.
But for now, I'll give you a taste of my interview with new castmember Joe Manganiello, who plays werewolf Alcide. The actor went all Taylor Lautner for the role, seriously bulking up in order to convincingly bring his character to life ... as you can plainly see in the brand new still above
"Vampires can get away with having very slight builds and the audience will still believe that they're super powerful," Joe tells PopWrap. "Werewolves are animals and in my mind they should be very muscular. Not an extra ounce of fat on them. Really ripped. I wanted people to look at Alcide and think, 'wow, he's a super strong animal.'"
Another difference between playing claws vs. fangs? "It was important for me to get a tan," Joe says. "Because, well, I can and it would offset my character in relation to the vampires."
Joe was also determined to make his incarnation of Alcide live up to the version author Charlaine Harris had created in "The Southern Vampire Mysteries" series. "Charlaine went into a lot of detail in the books about Alcide being giant. About having arms that look like boulders, like Sookie could do pull-ups on them," Joe says.
Luckily the actor had a good head start. "My mom is half Austrian and comes from a long line of giant athletes. I remember my mom doing double bicep flexes and her arms were just ripped. She had like Madonna arms. She would flex and say, "that's where you get it kid." So I have my mother to thank."
As do we all Joe.
"True Blood" kicks off its third season Sunday June 13 at 9pm on HBO