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True Blood’s Joe Manganiello Discusses His Beard in Great Detail

Joe Manganiello just wrapped his first season on True Blood, playing Alcide the hunky, sometimes naked werewolf. We caught up with him this Fashion Week at the G-Star Raw show, where he was sporting his trademark not-too-long, not-too-short, always-the-same facial hair, and took the opportunity to ask every question we could think of about it.

You always have this beard the same length. Is that part of your look?
Yeah. I mean, I read the books, and this is how the character was described in the books. When I showed up I wanted to be as close to that mark as possible, and then you kind of put your own stink on it, and make him look the way you think he should look. And there’s kind of a reclusive, construction-working, woodsy, kind of, you know, secretive guy, so I figured a beard would work.

So that’s how you got the role, you read the books and thought about this character.
Yeah, that. And I hate shaving, so that’s the other part of it, too.

But if you don’t shave, then it grows down your neck.
Well, I can’t. It won’t grow down to there [arches his neck, like where a beard would keep growing down the neck]; it stops right there, [right under the chin].

But if you don’t shave it will also grow long, like shaggy. Yours isn’t.
Oh, the length of it? Yeah, that would be kind of ZZ Top–y. I don’t know if that would work for me.

So do any of the men on the show have to trim body hair because you’re all naked so much onscreen?
I don’t have to, thank God. I’m Sicilian and Armenian and I play a werewolf, and I’m hairless. I think it was probably the only time in history you’re going to see that combination. [Laughs.]

Do any of the other guys on the show have to shave various body parts?
I don’t know. I haven’t shaved any of them, so I couldn’t tell you.

Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images