Joe Manganiello On Saying Goodbye To 'True Blood,' Gearing Up For 'Magic Mike XXL'

Joe Manganiello at the 'True Blood' S7 premiere, June 2014j Joe Manganiello at the 'True Blood' S7 premiere, June 2014j

Joe Manganiello hit the “True Blood” Season 7 premiere in Hollywood on Tuesday night, as the cast began to say goodbye to their HBO show, now entering its final season.

“It’s sad to say goodbye to everybody and say goodbye to the character and say goodbye to such an amazing show that had such an amazing run and changed so much about entertainment and the world, culturally,” Joe (Alcide Herveaux) told Access Hollywood as he hit the red carpet at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

When Season 6 ended, Joe’s character, werewolf Alcide, had finally got the girl — Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin). And this season, the Sookie/Alcide relationship continues, which meant having Anna’s real life husband, Stephen Moyer (who plays Bill Compton on the show), directing Joe’s Alcide/Sookie love scenes.

PHOTOS: ‘True Blood’ Season 7 Premiere

“Stephen and I have such a great friendship and we get along so well together. … You know, we’re professionals. And obviously you read that [there is a love scene] and you go, ‘Oh boy. Here we go.’ But you know, if we didn’t get along so well together, I think it probably could have been weird, but it wasn’t. Anna and I get along, he and I get along,” Joe said.

Joe joined the sexy, pulpy drama in Season 3, and quickly captured the attention of the show’s fans, who have followed his work beyond Bon Temps. Asked by Access how the show changed his life, Joe said it has had a great effect.

“It’s changed it forever. Gosh, you know, my career afterward — I mean, movies and the ‘Magic Mikes’ and the ‘What To Expect [When You’re Expecting]’ and the ‘Sabotages’ and the book [‘Evolution’], I mean, it’s just — - none of that is possible without this show opening the door for all of that amazing stuff. So I’ll be forever grateful and forever remember it,” he said.

Asked if he’ll do anything – like get a tattoo – to remember his time on “True Blood,” Joe said he’s got a familiar set of shoes to jump into next (Big Dick Richie) that would prevent any inked reminders of the HBO drama.

“With ‘Magic Mike Part 2’ coming up, I don’t know if I could rock a giant wolf tattoo anywhere on my body ‘cause you’re gonna see it all… but this past weekend, I actually went to New Orleans for the first time. It was a full moon on Friday the 13th… I got a little nostalgic there and realized I’m gonna miss the show, but for the rest of my life, every single full moon will always belong to me,” he said.

“Magic Mike XXL” begins shooting later this year, the actor said.

WATCH: Anna Paquin & Stephen Moyer: How Will ‘True Blood’ End?

“We’re gonna do it in the fall. We’re getting the band back together and we’re gonna go down to the South and film some craziness. It’s a road trip,” he said.

In addition to promoting “True Blood,” Joe is premiering the documentary he directed (and which he produced with his brother, Nick Manganiello), “La Bare,” on Wednesday night in Hollywood.

“I’m so excited [on Wednesday] to unleash it. I’m probably more proud of that film than anything I’ve ever done,” he said about the project, which pulls back the curtain at Dallas’ La Bare, a popular male strip club.

And, for Joe, a close second is his book, “Evolution: The Cutting Edge Guide to Breaking Down Mental Walls and Building the Body You’ve Always Wanted.”

“I go to the gym all the time and see people using it, I see before and after pictures, I’ve seen friends of mine who’ve done the six weeks the way that they are prescribed in the book, and they look completely different,” Joe said. “It’s insane. But I mean, I know it works, ‘cause I did it, so it’s amazing to see other people do it.”

“True Blood’s” seventh and final season kicks off Sunday night at 9 PM ET/PT on HBO.

-- Jolie Lash

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