"True Blood" star Joe Manganiello has overcome alcoholism, drug abuse and depression on his road to fame and fortune.
Manganiello said he was homeless, worked odd jobs, and became an alcoholic after becoming depressed when his acting career stalled during his twenties. It was a dark time marred by excessive drinking and suicidal thoughts.
“You get to a point where you’re gonna start getting better or you’re gonna kill yourself,” Joe told Splash. “I was in so much pain, but I wasn’t willing to end my life.
The alcohol was not my problem. The alcohol was my solution to the way that I’d felt my whole life. My problem was me. My problem was reality.”
Manganiello decided to get sober in August 2002 after realizing he did not want to through life never having reached his full potential. That's when he began embracing a healthy lifestyle. After eliminating alcohol, drugs and negative thoughts from his life, Joe's career took off.
Manganiello recounts his road to redemption in his new fitness book, Evolution, where he shares his workout and diet secrets, as well as his tips for becoming mentally strong.
“I want people to find their motivation, whatever that is," he said. "Everybody’s run up against blocks and will have setbacks and failures. What I’m asking everybody in the book is to revisit those, to concentrate on those. Don’t run away from them.”
The 6-foot-5 Manganiello maintains his chiseled 230-pound body by working out twice a day, six days a week, and following a low-carb, high-protein diet. He typically eats the same foods and follows the same routine every day.
"I wake up at the same time every day to get to the gym," he said. "I work out six days a week to look like Alcide: big and strong, but light on his feet and agile like a werewolf."
Manganiello's daily menu looks like this:
- Breakfast at 7:15 am: Granola with Fage plain Greek yogurt and a glass of water with Gold Standard whey protein.
- Mid-morning snack at 9 am: Another protein drink.
- Second breakfast at 10:15 am: Egg-white omelet with ham, peppers and feta cheese, a small cup of fruit and black coffee with Splenda.
- Lunch at 2:15 pm: Two oven-roasted chicken breasts with corn and green beans, and six baked buffalo chicken wings with hot sauce.
- Dinner at 6:30 pm: Italian-style salmon with leafy green vegetables and a cup of coffee.
Unlike some reluctant Hollywood hunks, Joe doesn't mind being asked to do nude or shirtless scenes in "True Blood" or movies like "Magic Mike" because he's aware he won't look like this forever.
"Someday I’ll be 60 or 70 or 80 and I’m not gonna be able to rock a thong," he said. "I’m gonna get it in now while I can.”