‘True Blood’s’ Joe Manganiello Talks Steelers, Clears Up ‘Stalker’ Reports

Joe Manganiello’s received a few perks since taking on the role of “True Blood’s” stacked, good-guy werewolf Alcide Hereveaux. He’s worked with wolves, been to a host of swanky parties, and met some of his heroes, but the actor’s biggest and best reward for becoming Pittsburgh’s newest breakout star will be cashed in later this fall.

“I’m going to the Jets game at home in December,” he told AccessHollywood.com of securing passes to cheer on his hometown team – The Steelers – in the highly anticipated match-up. “I’m gonna get a tour of Heinz Field as well.”

For the returning local, a former high school football and basketball star, getting a private tour of The Steelers’ hallowed grounds, plus tickets, is meaningful.

“I’ve made it now!” he said with a laugh.

While he may share a cable network with Jets quarterback, former USC star Mark Sanchez, Joe is hoping for a big defeat of the team currently being documented by HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”

“Hopefully I’ll be watching Mark cry,” he joked, showing off his playful team spirit after Access suggested he could say hello to the raven-haired QB.

Joe may be riding high off a rip-roaring “True Blood” Season 3, which wraps up next weekend, one week later than many fans expected due to the Labor Day holiday, he’s found out that becoming a breakout star comes with a few drawbacks.

Joe admitted that he’s sometimes seen a paparazzi presence on his daily routine, but very clearly distanced himself from a recent report that he has a stalker.

“I want to make it clear — all I said was I had my car checked for tracking devices,” he told Access of reports that surfaced online last week suggesting otherwise.

“I didn’t say that I had one and I didn’t say that there was a stalker,” he continued. “Paparazzi kept popping up everywhere I was going for a while and it was starting to make me wonder how the hell these guys do what they do. I was at my car dealership and [they] said, ‘Hey, we can have it checked for tracking devices.’ I said, ‘Yeah, sure, go ahead.’ So that got blown up. It’s funny how sometimes you say, ‘I had my car checked for tracking devices,’ and all of a sudden I have a stalker and the police are involved… That’s not what I said.”

Joe will have a chance to do a bit less speaking to the press when he heads to Europe for a late-summer vacation of sorts, but he’ll be leaving with some great memories of last week’s Emmy Awards encounters.

“Patrick Stewart came and spoke to my freshman class at Carnegie Melon and so I saw him at this party and went up and started talking to him about it and he started talking to me about how he had worked with lions,” Joe recounted of one of his favorite recent celebrity run-ins. “He did this project where he had to work with a lion. Here he’s talking about working with a lion, I’m talking about working with wolves and we’re kind of exchanging war stories talking about working with wild animals. That was really fun. Another cool one — I bumped into Tracy Morgan… I was telling Tracy how much I loved him on ‘SNL’ and he’s telling me how much he loves ‘True Blood.’ You know, it’s pretty cool.”

HBO’s “True Blood” Season 3 finale airs on HBO on September 12 at 9 PM.

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