EXCLUSIVE: Why Joe Manganiello Returned to the Rom-Com World After 'True Blood'

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While most fans know Joe Manganiello for his scruffy,
werewolf role as Alcide Herveaux on True
Blood
, the actor has quite the comedic chops, most recently displayed in Magic Mike XXL, Tumbledown, and Netflix’s Pee-wee’s
Big Holiday
.

In fact, the comedygenre was one the 39-year-old was
trying to escape after spending years guest-starring on shows like How I Met Your Mother, ‘Til Death, Scrubs, and -- for the true die-hards -- So NoTORIous.

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“My entire career was almost all sitcom prior to True Blood. To the point where I didn't
even think drama was going to happen,” Manganiello tells TheInsider. “It was just going to be comedy or romantic comedy for the
rest of my life.”

Of course, all of that changed after he landed HBO’s vampire
drama, becoming a fan favorite during his five seasons on the series. Manganiello
quickly expanded his dramatic repertoire with roles in Sabotage, Knights of Cups,
and Magic Mike, which was more
serious in tone than its road-trip comedy sequel.

Luckily for fans, Manganiello has made a hilarious return to the genre last year, going for laughs with absurd accents and sharp comedic timing in Tumbledown, which comes out on Blu-ray and DVD on April 5.

The film -- about a scholar (Jason Sudeikis) who travels to
Maine to interview a widow (Rebecca Hall) of an acclaimed singer -- sees Manganiello
playing one of Hall’s suitors with a very thick Boston accent and clashing with
Sudeikis.

“It was a great script and I thought the role was really
fun,” the actor says of taking the part. “My whole family is from New England
so I grew up listening to people talk that way. It was a blast
to hang outside of Boston.”

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“He’s a brilliant, very smart, and very funny guy,” Hall
says in a behind-the-scenes look at the film, while screenwriter Desiree Van
Til added that his muscly form is most certainly deceiving: “Even though he’s a
big, tall, beautiful man with muscles to contend with, he’s a very, very sweet
person. And we wanted that for [his character].”

Sadly though, it seems the days of showing off his lean body
are behind him. “That was a long time ago. That was another lifetime,”
Manganiello says.