"Werewolves are coming to Bon Temps in the new season of "True Blood," and while these supernatural creatures don't actually exist in real life — we certainly hope not, anyway — the wolves you're going to see on screen are very, very real. Actor Joe Manganiello, who plays werewolf Alcide Herveaux in the third season, only plays his human side, with an actual on-set wolf representing his feral mode.
Unless you're Kevin Costner, the idea of hanging around all day with wolves is far from relaxing. In an exclusive interview, Joe himself admitted to Hollywood Crush that working on set with the wolves wasn't easy for him — not at first, at least.
"There's definitely a curve to it," he said. "When you first see them, they're very intimidating. They're really big. Really big. They have those yellow eyes and make no mistake, this is not a dog: it's a wild animal. You have to get briefed on all the rules: don't eat meat around them, do not eat food of any kind. There's a whole system of behavior around them."
Joe told us that "after a couple of tries and encounters with them, you kind of loosen up," and talk about your first encounters — for Joe himself, his very first scene alongside a wolf took place while he was naked!
"My first day shooting with my wolf, I had to do the transformation scene," he recalled. "I'm out in the middle of a field in broad daylight, naked with a well-placed sock. Ten feet away from me is this wild animal. They take the chain off of him and it's just me and him in this field in broad day light, and they yell, 'Action!'"
Of course, Joe lived to tell us the tale. In fact, after that day of shooting, he was very much at ease with the wolves on set. "That was my first experience, so after that, you're pretty much going to be fine," he laughed. "Just throw the baby in the pool and see if it can swim!"
Now, Joe has become so comfortable working with wolves that he's actually managed to bond with his animal counterpart.
"A couple of weeks ago, I got to go up to the ranch where they keep the wolves and I got to go take my wolf for a walk for about 45 minutes," he said. "It was pretty amazing, getting to hang out with them."