Manganiello. The Huge. The Body-Proud.

(Little about language, mostly about one actor and his body. Shirtless photos, but nothing racier than that.)

It started with a Facebook posting about the new comedy film Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, with this very brief plot line, from Wikipedia:

After meeting Joe Manganiello, Pee-wee Herman leaves his hometown of Fairville and goes on the first vacation of his life to reach New York to celebrate Joe’s birthday party, before getting caught up in wacky hijinks and trouble across the country.

The movie pairs the big (6′ 5″ tall), famously muscular, and intensely masculine actor Joe Manganiello, as himself, with Paul Reubens (at 5′ 10″, and slim, even weedy) in his flamboyantly childlike character Pee-wee Herman, who becomes infatuated with the electrically attractive Manganiello at their first meeting:


Los Angeles Times reviewer Rebecca Keegan, in a mixed notice, nevertheless praised “an adorably self-aware Joe Manganiello as the object of Pee-wee’s man-crush”.

JM has been through a series of roles in which he enthusiastically displays his body for the admiration of some of his audience (especially straight men, who would like to look like him and project his strength and easy assurance) and for objectification by much of his audience (women and gay men). He’s immensely proud of his body (achieved through considerable hard work) and revels in his viewers’ attentions — but all with self-aware good humor. A very entertaining presentation of himself.

As the title of this posting puts it, we get

Manganiello. The Huge. The body-proud.

— in an echo of:


A characteristic photo, from his True Blood period (2010-14):


On JM, from Wikipedia:

Joseph Michael “Joe” Manganiello (… born December 28, 1976) is an American actor, director, producer, and author. He played Flash Thompson [Spider-Man’s nemesis] in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy and had various recurring roles in television … before landing his breakout role as werewolf Alcide Herveaux on the HBO television series True Blood.

True Blood was his favorite television show before he joined the cast. He had originally auditioned to play Coot, another werewolf in the series, but was asked to read for Alcide instead. He grew a beard and trained for five months to add muscle for the role, as author Charlaine Harris had described Alcide as having “arms the size of boulders”. He also got a suntan to set himself apart from the other characters on the series and spent time studying live wolves.

[Note on the Wikipedia article, most of which must have been written by JM himself or someone very close to him. It goes through his life, event by event, listing virtually every part he played, going back to his school days. It cries out for an editor.]

In True Blood, he regularly strips off his shirt, and sometimes his pants as well. In this role most of his body is shaved smooth, presumably to be attractive to female admirers, especially young ones, many of whom are put off by furry (or frankly hairy) male bodies. But he’s also been photographed in shots clearly meant to arouse gay male viewers, as here:


JM in a classic white jockstrap, a potent masculinity symbol for many gay men; with his nicely furry body unshaven (or maybe just trimmed some); and with a bit of nipple play with his left hand.

On to Magic Mike XXL (2015), for which he bulked up a little more to play male stripper Big Dick Ritchie. On the cover of Details magazine (now defunct):


(On the movie, on this blog, a 7/2/15 posting “Pecs, abs, and dancing”.)

And at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards, in his fireman stripper gear:


And then on to adventures with Pee-wee.

Bonus: Manganiello’s book:


The photo on the cover is not, so far as I know, of Manganiello himself (though it has his face); he is bulked up, yes, but he has nowhere near the extreme bodybuilder physique in the photo. But I could be wrong.

3 Responses to “Manganiello. The Huge. The Body-Proud.”

  1. Mike Says:

    My God! That pic of him in a jock is incredible!!!

  2. H.S. Gudnason Says:

    There’s a lovely exchange in the movie when Paul Rubens breaks very slightly out of his Pee-wee Herman persona. Manganiello is astonished that Pee-wee doesn’t know who he is, and asks if he’s ever seen True Blood; Pee-wee says he hasn’t. Then Manganiello asks if he’s seen Magic Mike, and Pee-wee says, “You’d think I would have, but no.”

  3. Pyrus Hombre Says:

    Funny, that you don’t think the photo of him on the cover of “EVOLUTION” is his body. Because I think it’s more likely that is his body there. But, I don’t believe that is his body in the jock strap. He has just as great a bod, but there are differences in the midriff and other areas such as the areola.

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