Joe Manganiello‘s body is the stuff of legend, but he’s also got a funny bone he’s putting to good use as one of the stars of Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, the Pee-wee Herman reboot/comeback flick now streaming on Netflix.
A.V. Club caught up with Manganiello after the film’s SXSW premiere and spoke with him about working with Pee-wee, what’s the most fun to shoot, and of course, the inevitable Manganiello/Pee-wee slash fiction that’s probably working its way around the internet right now.
Although Pee-wee Herman is a creation of the ’80s, Manganiello insists it still works:
Well, I think that when I was a kid and my dad brought me to see Pee-wee[’s Big Adventure] in 1985, the combination of Paul and then the emergence of Tim Burton—that was my childhood right there. I was a weird kid. I always was into weird things, and I think Pee-wee was this very digestible, mainstream, weird character. I immediately identified with that. There’s also something, I think, about the man-boy type of thing that’s really funny.
The part was written for him…sorta:
…originally I was playing a character named “Joe Mancuso,” a famous actor named Joe Mancuso who had a whole list of movies that he had starred in that he’s throwing at Pee-wee and kind of crashing against the rocks with those. On the day [of filming], John [Lee, director] and Paul and I, we all huddled up, and I guess John and Paul had the idea prior to it, like, ”Hey, what if we did a take where you said your real name?” So we tried a take that way and that’s what wound up in the movie.
And the slash fic? Nothing new for Joe:
I mean, I was on True Blood for years. There’s some really, really weird shit written about that show. So listen, man, “weird” is my middle name. I’m ready for anything. The weirder, the better.
Pee-wee’s Big Holiday is streaming now on Netflix, and we’re sure Manganiello’s abs are on the cover of some fitness magazine right now. If not, Google is your friend.