Joe Manganiello was one of our favorite things about Magic Mike—even if his Big Dick Richie didn’t get any lines. The film, and the subject of male strippers, left a strong impression on the True Blood actor, too, prompting him to produce La Bare, a new documentary about an infamous flesh factory in Dallas that’s considered world’s most popular male strip club.
La Bare just debuted at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City (Think of it as Sundance’s edgy little brother) and will find its way into theaters this summer. But it almost didn’t happen: “I had zero interest in male stripping prior to Magic Mike. As a straight male, I had a lot of misperceptions about the industry,” Manganiello tells EW. “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.”
Funding the film with his own money, Manganiello teamed up with his brother brother Nick, who’s also his partner in 3:59 Inc. Productions. They initially envisioned it as a reality series but some encouragement from Soderbergh—and the tragic shooting death of a dancer weeks before filming began—made the brothers realize there was a deeper story to tell about the iconic dance club.
“It’s a Trojan horse,” Nick told Essential Homme of the doc. “You’re definitely getting a look inside the world of male stripping, but who these guys are, where they come from, where they’re going, takes the film in a lot of different directions.”
Below, Joe talks about the film with Vanity Fair. Check out a trailer for La Bare on EW.com.