Deborah Ann Woll and Joe Manganiello’s Journey to True Blood

October 22, 2010 by  

Deborah Ann Woll and Joe Manganiello Talk About Life Before and After their Big Break on True Blood

True Blood’s biggest breakout stars Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica Hamby) and Joe Manganiello (Alcide Herveaux) recently talked to Back Stage about their lives before and after their True Blood break. Here’s what they had to say:

True Blood's Deborah Ann Woll at Comic Con.Deborah’s journey to True Blood success

Unlike many young actors, Deborah’s early break happened fairly quickly. Six months after graduating college she landed a management team, her SAG card and a guest starring role on Life.

Through a college graduate showcase she landed her management team, Marshak/Zachary Co., who she says were irrationally invested in her career.

“They sent me into rooms that I had no business being in without a SAG card or ever having been paid to act really ever.”

The investment paid off landing her countless guest spots on shows like ER and My Name is Earl.

Her True Blood break

She finally landed her big break when she auditioned for True Blood. Standing in front of a room of 10 to 15 people she gave her all rolling on the floor in the traumatic ‘turning’ scene.

She admits to not having a great Southern accent originally, but after landing the role she came up with one before showing up on set. Once she managed to become a regular, she spent the break in between seasons perfecting her accent.

How success has changed her life

Deborah reveals that the one thing she wasn’t prepared for was being so homesick.

“(USC’s School of Theatre) didn’t prepare me for all the logistics, like you’re going to be living in a hotel room for two months and then you might get to go home for three days, but then you have to go right back to another room in another tiny little town. You’re going to miss the people you love. I think when I thought of sacrifice for this career, I thought of the sacrifice that came with the early part, the struggling part, where you don’t have any money and you’re working three jobs. That I was all gung-ho for; that was sort of an exciting sacrifice. But I don’t think I thought of the sacrifice that comes with success.”

Where you’ll find her next and her advice for aspiring actors

She says her advice for actors hoping to catch their big break is

“You have to be excellent at what you do. You can’t settle for just doing half the work. You have to do all of it. You have to care enough that when you get there the only questions you have are the ones that are unanswerable.”

During her hiatus from True Blood, Deborah has been working hard on her film career. She has five films in the works: Mother’s Day a thriller, Little Murder with Terence Howard, Highland Park with Billy Burke, Catch .44 with Malin Akerman and Seven Days in Utopiawith Robert Duvall.

True Blood's Joe Manganiello in a scene from Season three. Joe’s journey to True Blood success

Much like Deborah, Joe found success pretty quickly after finishing drama school. After taking part in a showcase, he found his agents and manager, who still represent him to this day. He also ended up screen-testing for Spider-Man and booking it the same week.

After his fast break he ended up taking four years off and working in home construction after finding himself disillusioned by Hollywood.

“It happened really fast and there were a lot of lessons to learn. I think actingwise, businesswise, I was ready to work, but I don’t think on a personal level I was mature enough to handle a lot of what came with that. So I kind of went away.”

His return to Hollywood and landing True Blood

After being contacted by people he knew and worked with, he considered returning to acting. He also credits Back Stage partly for his return because after reading that a theatre company in L.A was putting up a production of Pounding Nails in the Floor With My Forehead, he ended up trying out for the play and landing a role, which started his journey back.

After taking part in TV shows such as, How I Met Your Mother, ‘Till Death and One Tree Hill, he auditioned for the role of Cooter on True Blood. He ended up not being offered the role, but getting called back to read for Alcide.

Where you will see him next

He’ll be rejoining Deborah and the rest of the cast for Season 4 of True Blood as a cast regular. He also recently recorded his first audio book.

Source: — ‘True Blood’ Breakouts

(Photo Credit:, HBO)