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Joe Manganiello credits fame to taking off his shirt and 'growling in the woods'

Joe Manganiello creates high protein diet and fitness 'Evolution' revolution.
Joe Manganiello creates high protein diet and fitness 'Evolution' revolution.Getty Images

Some celebrities earn their fame for becoming media savvy, like Kim Kardashian. Others get their time in the spotlight for their combination of delightful charm and singing talent, such as Katy Perry. And then there's "True Blood" star Joe Manganiello, who told Metro in a Jan. 30 interview that it's rather odd to become " famous for taking your shirt off and growling in the woods."

But although he's not thrilled with the lack of fame for his range of acting chops, Joe is pleased with the recognition that his diet and fitness guide has earned. He wrote it based on his own years in the gym and in refining his diet to maintain muscle mass while burning fat, and it's entitled "Evolution: The Cutting Edge Guide to Breaking Down Mental Walls and Building the Body You've Always Wanted."

And Joe hopes that the book will inspire others to go beyond their self-perceived limitations to sculpt their own bodies and shed excess fat.

"When people finish reading the book I want them to put it down and run through a wall head first," Joe informed Metro.

Ouch.

However, Joe admits that he hasn't always been such a diet purist and fitness addict.

"I was drinking a bottle of whisky and smoking two packs of cigarettes a day," he recalls of the days when he received his first big acting job as Peter Parker’s love rival Flash Thompson in the 2002 "Spider-Man" film.

"I knew I had a problem and didn’t know how to deal with it. It destroyed every relationship I had, my career was in ruins, I was a mess. Every aspect of my life was completely bankrupt," he admits.

After hitting bottom, Joe recognized that it was time to change. And that's where exercise and diet came in. He started training and boxing.

"Cleaning up my act led to a better diet, which led to pushing myself further and further physically," Joe explains.

"I used to look at life as: 'What can I get away with?' After I stopped drinking it became: 'What can I accomplish?'" he says.

Now he looks forward to a good life - and that means hours in the gym and adherence to his high protein diet.

In his book, Joe provides a six-week transformation program based on what's worked for him. The nutrition element emphasized a high protein low carb diet. Joe believes it can make a dramatic difference for others.

"Now it’s become about how good my life can get and how much can I achieve because things were awful for a while," he says.

What's next among those achievements? Joe and his brother Nick, who’s also his producing partner, created a documentary based on a male strip club, reported Entertainment Weekly recently.

“People would walk out of Magic Mike saying ’I loved it but I wish there was more of the guys. I wish I knew more about them, where they live, who they go out with, what their lives are like.’ So I knew there was a lot left on the table,” says Joe about his inspiration for the stripper film.