Photo: Getty Images
By Marc Inocencio
Joe Manganiello was thrown into the world of male stripping when he played the role of an exotic dancer in 2012′s Magic Mike. During the time he spent researching his character, the actor uncovered a misunderstood profession that he wants to bring center stage.
The director-actor phoned in to On Air with Ryan Seacrest on Thursday to discuss his documentary La Bare, which provides an unscripted look at the world’s most popular strip club in Dallas, Texas.
“There’s so many misperceptions and misunderstandings about it, I think there’s a tendency to dismiss these guys,” says Joe, who will reprise his male stripper role for 2015′s Magic Mike XXL. “There’s a real opportunity — because of this club and because of these particular guys at this specific club La Bare in Dallas — to tell some really wild and eye-opening stories and really shine a light and do it in a really entertaining way.”
The male-stripping culture, according to the True Blood actor, is preconceived due to society’s negative notion on female strippers, who assumably come from “bad family background” and, or “some sort of trouble.” The 37-year-old’s eight-day, self-funded project strips down these premises and uncovers the irony beneath the bad-boy veneer.
“These guys come from like really good Bible-belt families. A lot of them were ex-athletes. They’re all across the board 100 percent straight. They’re all straight, which I think is a common misperception for people for whatever reason,” says Joe. “They treat women well, which I think is another one I think people are surprised about. There’s a tendency to think these guys are players, are jerks to women, are taking advantage of women, but they’re not.”
The Pittsburg native, however, has a different method of winning over women. Joe, who was dubbed People‘s Hottest Bachelor, began dating now-girlfriend Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) after telling the magazine she was his celebrity crush.
“When the magazine came out — by that time — we were seeing each other and when I got the magazine and opened it up and read it, I forgot I said that,” he tells Ryan and Ellen K. “She was laughing at me. She thought that I was crazy for having said that out loud or said it in the magazine, but you know, I guess it worked.”
La Bare is scheduled to drop via iTunes on Tuesday, August 19, but until then, the tell-all documentary is available for pre-order by clicking here.