It’s official: Joe Manganiello is total Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast.

Manganiello, known for his work on television series like True Blood and One Tree Hill and in films such as Magic Mike and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, recently opened up about his love for the iconic RPG.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Manganiello first revealed that he’d been playing D&D since he was 10 years old (he’ll turn 41 this December). He then explained how he was introduced to the world of D&D.

“When I was young, I had the Hobbit picture book and record—the one that had a chime to tell you to turn the page. That was what I would consider the gateway drug into fantasy for me. Then I discovered the Rankin-Bass cartoon version of Lord of the Rings. From there it was like a hunt for all things dragon, elf, dwarf, wizard and fantasy,” Manganiello recounted. “Then I landed on the Dungeons & Dragons basic set. There’s a solo adventure that you can play by yourself. I played that thing over and over again, because I just didn’t know any other kids who played it.”

When Manganiello did find a group of friends to play with, he was overjoyed. “It was like the Blind Melon video when the gates open up and it’s the land of the bees! You meet your own kind,” he said of the summers he spent playing D&D on an island in Maine.

He even credited the game with helping him shape his career in entertainment: “Every summer was spent creatively cooking up adventures the way a modern-day showrunner or producer would. Which is what I do now. It was building characters and story arcs and auxiliary storylines. Little did I know I was flexing all the muscles that I ended up using in my chosen profession… Everyone who plays these games is an intellectual.”

Manganiello continued to the juiciest bit of info: who is favourite D&D character is.

“I was always the gamemaster. I was creating the storyline and running the show. For years, I was always coming up with these worlds for the players to inhabit. The last few years, though, I’ve gotten heavily back into Dungeons & Dragons with the release of the fifth edition,” he said. “The character I play now and in Force Grey is a dragon-born oath-breaker paladin who worships the five-headed dragon goddess Tiamat. His powers derive from the Queen of Darkness. Red skin, breathes fire, big nasty battle ax. He’s really fun to play.”

But the D&D fun doesn’t stop there. Earlier this year, Manganiello revealed that he’d written a script a Dungeons and Dragons movie in collaboration with his “playwright friend from Carnegie Mellon” (via Nerdist). The actor also took creative meetings with Wizards of the Coast, the publisher behind D&D, to potentially bring his passion project to life.

While didn’t uncover many details about the film, Manganiello did state that the core focus is on the humanity of the characters, which he hopes will aid in making the fantasy aspects more believable to those not familiar with the lore.

“It’s got to be about something,” Manganiello explained. “We root for those characters in Game of Thrones. Fellowship of the Ring was about friendship, this undying love for your friends. That’s something everyone can identify with. When a movie is about something human and real emotionally people are going to want to see. Then you get some dragons breathing fire, and hey, I’m in.”

There’s no telling when or if Manganiello’s D&D film will be made, but we can all rest assured that he’ll be whipping up new campaigns and rolling for initiative for the foreseeable future.


We couldn’t be happier that Manganiello is a huge D&D fan — and the news couldn’t have come at a better time.

Boss Bomb Maude Garrett is launching Geek Bomb’s very own D&D show, FUNGEONS & FLAGONS, on August 12! 

The show will feature familiar faces from SourceFED like Sam Bashor, Matt Lieberman, and Jeremy Azevedo. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified when the first episode of Fungeons & Flagons is released!

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