Joe Manganiello. Recognize his face, but just can’t place him? Pick one of the many top rated TV series of the past several years, and this highly sought-after actor has probably been on it.
Very rarely does an acting student land a role directly following graduation, but Joe Manganiello, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native, made the transition look like an everyday occurrence. Joe received a BFA in acting from the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama and within a week from graduating, auditioned and eventually landed the role of “Flash Thompson” in the mega hit “Spider Man” which he reprised 5 years later in “Spider Man 3“. Since his break-out role, he has starred in many movies, including the film “Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia“.
Not limiting himself to feature films, Joe took the television world by storm. In between shooting for movies, Joe appeared in back-to-back roles on many top-rated series. Aside from guest starring roles on “Jake in Progress”, “Las Vegas“, “Scrubs”, “Close to Home“, and “CSI“, Manganiello also plays some reoccurring characters in multiple television favorites. This year, he will be returning as “Stu” on “Til Death”, and the producers of “How I Met Your Mother” have contacted Joe several times trying to work out scheduling to bring “Brad” back… so expect that sometime in the near future.
“One Tree Hill” fans will be excited to hear that his character “Owen” is back in a big way this season. Any avid watcher knows that “Owen” has some serious apologizing to do to “Brooke”!
On top of juggling his re-occuring guest star roles, Joe will soon be seen in two upcoming films. Henry Jaglom’s “Irene in Time” is a movie dealing with the relationship between fathers and daughters. “Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia” stars Joe as the leader of a Navy SEALS squad that is wrongfully accused of a crime against the Colombian government. Each film is completely different in terms of content and style, and both stand as a testament not only to Joe’s acting ability, but also to his diverse taste in material.
After speaking to Joe about his experiences on set he offered some interesting insight on the film industry. “Irene in Time” was shot over three years ago, and we will see Joe sporting a full beard and a shoulder-length haircut. Joe described Henry Jaglom‘s directing technique as an “unorthodox approach to filmmaking”, relying heavily on the actors’ improvisation skills. “He basically explains the scene to you right before, whispers a few things privately into each of the actor’s ears and rolls camera…it was a blast!”
Unlike the fly-by-your-seat ways of Henry Jaglom, shooting “Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia”, a studio action film, proved to be a much more structured and designed experience. Joe trained for 6 weeks with a trainer/nutritionist, worked out in a gun range, learned Filipino knife fighting from a martial artist, and consulted with Navy SEAL Geoff Reeves at a gun range and in a classroom environment. With such a high level of production and a rigorous shooting schedule, there was not much room for improvisation.
So how does Joe balance creating drama on “One Tree Hill”, making people laugh on “How I Met Your Mother”, and kicking ass as a Navy SEAL? Joe credits his Alma Mater, The Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama. There he learned almost every acting style, the historical significance of every time period, and even how to pick up foreign languages. Joe admits that, at first, casting directors viewed him very one-dimensionally. They saw him only playing the role of a bully. However, taking a look at Joe’s recent credits proves that he is much more than merely an athlete who can do his own stunts.
Acting jobs in Hollywood are some of the most difficult jobs to get and also the most difficult to keep, but don’t say goodbye to this actor…it’s obvious that the powers-that-be are onto this hot talent.
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Written by Staff Writer