Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor



Joe Manganiello of 'Magic Mike' on stripping, Manhole
by Richard Knight, Jr., for Windy City Times

This article shared 11543 times since Wed Jun 27, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

One of the most anticipated films of the year—at least by women and gay men—has to be director Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike, aka "the male stripper movie."

Based on the real-life experiences of rising Hollywood heartthrob Channing Tatum, the movie glorifies the shapely bodies of some of Tinseltown's finest beefcake—Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Alex Rodriguez and the openly gay Matt Bomer. None of these heavenly physiques, however, quite stacks up next to the one inhabited by actor Joe Manganiello.

The theater-trained actor (he attended Carnegie Mellon with fellow alumnus Bomer) broke through playing Alcide, the werewolf who's often seen in the altogether in HBO's vampire series True Blood, which has just begun its fifth season.

The 6'5" actor isn't shy about disrobing, playing a character in Magic Mike named "Big Dick Richie," or about his support of the gay community (Manganiello is straight)—all of which he discussed during an exclusive interview with Windy City Times.

Windy City Times: Immediately, I'm going to lower the bar—but I promise you I'm going to raise it later.

Joe Manganiello: Like I haven't already lowered it already. [Laughs]

WCT: You're playing a stripper named Big Dick Richie. You must have known that a lot of gay men were going to be very interested in this character, right?

Joe Manganiello: I can only assume!

WCT: Did they let you take the penis pump home because you know what they say: "Practice makes perfect…"?

Joe Manganiello: Man—that thing was soooo frightening. Just the idea that penis-pump technology has not increased over, I'm guessing, like the past 35 years since it was invented. It's just … frightening.

WCT: I'm going to assume that you used a prosthetic for the full-frontal scene.

Joe Manganiello: You may assume whatever you want. [Laughs]

WCT: Have you talked to Mark Wahlberg (star of Boogie Nights) about his…

Joe Manganiello: Have I exchanged notes with him? No, I have not but that would certainly be an interesting conversation, no doubt.

WCT: Okay, tell me you took it home and have it in a display case somewhere…

Joe Manganiello: …to be auctioned off for charity.

WCT: [Laughs] You'll make millions! Okay, from your perspective, give it up. Of your fellow hotties, who had the best body?

Joe Manganiello: Excluding myself? Geez. That's a tough one. I don't know; I don't know that I really looked at everybody that way.

WCT: Well, what about stripper moves? Who had the best bump-and-grind?

Joe Manganiello: Well, Channing is on another level as a dancer.

WCT: Best thong collection?

Joe Manganiello: [Laughs] That would have to be me. I wear the gold thong with the fig leaf on the front—beat that!

WCT: You mentioned somewhere in an interview that when you started in the business it was hard for a guy with a body like yours to get jobs.

Joe Manganiello: That was a complete misquote. I wasn't built like this when I moved to Hollywood 12 years ago.

WCT: Well, I know you did construction but did you ever consider taking a male stripper gig?

Joe Manganiello: No, I went to classical theater school. The construction thing was only to make ends meet for a brief period of time. There was no Plan B other than acting but needless to say, if this whole acting thing doesn't work out, it's a possibility.

WCT: So we might yet see a chain called Manganiello's?

Joe Manganiello: Not to be confused with Chicago's Manhole.

WCT: The Manhole?! Did they take you there today during the press tour? How do you know about the Manhole?!

Joe Manganiello: When I was 21 years old, I got a job for the summer working for Finlandia vodka and we came through Chicago on the tour at the same time as the Pride festival. They parked a bus right outside the bar and they sent me into this bar to serve Finlandia drinks—and the bar was called Manhole.

WCT: Every gay man in Chicago can tell you the location. That's almost 15 years ago, so you've had a long time to think about this: Is it a turn-on at all to know that millions of gay men are getting off on you? What does that do to your head? Does it feel good? Is it weird? C'mon—throw us a bone.

Joe Manganiello: [Choosing his words carefully] There's been such a huge support for me in my career—probably starting with True Blood, which led to the LOGO channel giving me a "NewNowNext" award and then I got offered the cover of Out magazine this year and I was like, "Hell yeah, let's do it."

Then I spoke at the Human Rights Campaign as a straight man in favor of gay marriage. So the gay community has been 100-percent behind me and I have completely felt that support going on years now in my career. It's great to know that and I do my best to acknowledge that—whether it's speaking out or throwing on my fireman's uniform and appearing at the MTV Awards—to show my support right back.

I have a lot of friends in the gay community, stemming from drama school to working in Hollywood and, for me, it's about sticking up for the rights of my friends when I think stupid issues are being made of things.

WCT: What other actors or stars with spectacular physiques do you look to for career inspiration? The Rock? Vin Diesel? Ah-nuld?

Joe Manganiello: I really don't look at those guys for inspiration and that's not a knock to them. My influences are people like Viggo Mortensen. Growing up it was people like Robert DeNiro and Edward Norton. Those were actors who physically transformed themselves to fit certain parts.

This isn't something like wanting to be a bodybuilder who acts. I'm a classically trained actor who bulked up for a role. If you looked at a picture of me five years ago and what I look like now, you might not recognize me. I transformed my body for True Blood because I needed to fit a character that was described a certain way.

From there, it was also a tool for me as an actor because the bigger; the more physically imposing that I was, it was going to help me play this guy's inner sensitivity—his vulnerability and this incredible shyness that the character had. I wanted him to look like a monster but feel like a puppy. Now, because of continuity and such, I have to keep my body up so that I come back matching what I did on the season before. In the meantime, I wound up getting cast as a male stripper and that fit into that wheelhouse, physically.

WCT: Don't you love how that dovetailed?

Joe Manganiello: After 10 years in the business I just happened to stumble on this phenomenal role on this really hot show. I'm not a person who knows what 99 percent is—I go 110 percent at everything and I'm very flattered that people see me that way but, truly, it was for the part.

WCT: Speaking of True Blood, any hints about what's coming up this season?

Joe Manganiello: I'll put it to you this way: I don't know what's going to be more awkward for my parents to see—what I do in Magic Mike or what I do this season on True Blood.

WCT: That is very tantalizing.

Joe Manganiello: There's a general consensus on the set this season that it's some of the most risqué stuff that has been done in years on the show.

WCT: Now HBO is lowering the bar.

Joe Manganiello: Oh, yeah—but I hasten to add that it's tastefully done. We definitely bring the sexy back this year.

WCT: Getting back to Magic Mike for a second, it's pretty common in the male stripper industry that a lot of these straight guys are "gay for pay"—they escort for men, do gay porn, etc. Did this subject come up at all?

Joe Manganiello: I did enough research to know that there are guys who dance for men and women, but that's not necessarily the story that we're telling in this movie. The guys that I hung out with and talked to in doing my research were straight male strippers, and all their stories involved the Dionysian orgies with women that went on backstage.

WCT: Have you been offered any gay characters?

Joe Manganiello: I can't think of any, although I did work on Terrence McNally's new play a few years ago (Unusual Acts of Devotion). I did the West Coast premiere at the LaJolla Playhouse which dealt with some gay themes, and I actually slow-danced with Richard Thomas. [Chuckles]

WCT: John Boy Walton?

Joe Manganiello: Yup!

WCT: Cool. With so much emphasis on your body career-wise, I'm sure you have to be incredibly disciplined. Do you have a favorite indulgence when you get to go off the wagon?

Joe Manganiello: Oh yeah—right after my fight scenes I go straight to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles.

WCT: Good choice. Whom do you objectify? Who does Joe dream about at night?

Joe Manganiello: I'm a guy so we objectify everything. [Laughs]

This article shared 11543 times since Wed Jun 27, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Elton John, Leslie Jordan, Joel Kim Booster, Janelle Monae 2022-11-27
- Elton John gave Los Angeles concluded a three-show run on Nov. 20 back inside Dodger Stadium, taking a final bow as part of his "Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The concert ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Grammy nominees, Gabrielle Union, Trevor Noah, Brendan Fraser 2022-11-20
- Out Magazine compiled a list of some of the 2023 LGBTQA+ Grammy nominees. Among those on the list were Brandi Carlile (who earned another seven Grammy nominations this year, raising her career total to 25), Lady ...

Gay News

Hong Kong lesbian romance premieres at local film festival 2022-11-14
- Hong Kong Lesbian Romance Premieres At Film Festival by Vernon Hester �As part of the semi-annual Asian Pop-Up Cinema Film Festival, which ran from September 10 through November 6, The First Girl I Loved had its ...

Gay News

Filmmaker Elegance Bratton reflects on The Inspection 2022-11-14
- Gay writer and director Elegance Bratton has come a long way after growing up in New Jersey and being unhoused for 10 years. He eventually joined the Marine Corps, which led to his becoming the filmmaker ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Queer channel, gay actor dies, Jeopardy!, Luke and Chris Evans 2022-11-13
- Fuse Media—a Latino-owned, multiplatform entertainment company—announced that in partnership with OUTtv, it is expanding its suite of DEI FAST channels with the launch of the channel OUTtv Proud, per a press release. Set for a 2023 ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Gay racer, GALECA, Lena Waithe, 'Chicago,' LGBTQ+ films 2022-11-06
- Gay motorsports racer Zach Herrin made his long-awaited debut in a NASCAR-affiliated race in Phoenix, The Advocate noted. "I know I have a lot of eyes on me, and all I want to do is get out there and blur everything ...

Gay News

Actress Rebel Wilson gets engaged, announces birth of first child [UPDATE] 2022-11-05
- Actress Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect) is engaged to girlfriend Ramona Agruma after dating for seven months, according to Page Six. ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Nathan Lane, gala, Beyonce, Kevin Aviance, Henry Cavill, Shania 2022-10-30
Video below - Nathan Lane is returning to Broadway this winter to star in the debut run of Pictures of Home, per The Hollywood Reporter. Based on the photo memoir by Larry Sultan of the same name and adapted ...

Gay News

WORLD World Cup, Ukraine president, purge survivors, Eddie Izzard 2022-10-30
- Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah, Qatar's ambassador to the UK, said LGBTQ+ couples visiting the country for the World Cup can "hold hands" but should be mindful of "public displays of affection," according to PinkNews. He told ...

Gay News

Sheryl Lee Ralph producing HIV/AIDS documentary 2022-10-29
- Recent Emmy winner Sheryl Lee Ralph has signed on to produce Unexpected, a documentary short about women of color living with HIV in the South, Variety reported. Directed by Zeberiah Newman, the film will chronicle Masonia ...

Gay News

The Chicago International Film Fest's OutLook Series: Bigger, better, bolder in 2022 2022-10-24
- The Chicago International Film Festival has presented moving pictures from around the world to the public for 58 years after being founded in 1964 by openly gay graphic artist Michael Kutza. During Oct. 12=23, cinephiles were ...

Gay News

'Will & Grace' actor Leslie Jordan dies in car accident 2022-10-24
- Leslie Jordan—the openly gay actor who rose to fame on Will & Grace as the frenemy of Megan Mullally's Karen Walker and was immediately recognizable by his Southern accent—died in a single-car crash in Hollywood on ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'P-Valley,' Dan Levy, trans/non-binary panel, Christina Aguilera, Spirit Day 2022-10-23
Video below - Starz has renewed the show P-Valley (the network's most-watched series) for a third season, The Hollywood Reporter noted. The renewal for the series from creator/showrunner Katori Hall arrives more than two months after the sophomore season ...

Gay News

Chicago History Museum to host 'Supreme Models' screening Nov. 4 2022-10-19
- The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum will host the official Midwest screening of Supreme Models and an exclusive in-person celebration on Friday, Nov. 4, 5:30-9:30 p.m. at The Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark ...

Gay News

Haven hosting 'Rocky Horror Picture Party' on Oct. 29-30 2022-10-18
- Haven is welcoming back its "Science Fiction/Double Feature: A Rocky Horror Picture Party"—an immersive Rocky Horror-themed Halloween party that brings to life in vivid technicolor the world of the cult-classic film. Hosted by Helena Handbasket, the ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.