Joe Manganiello talks about standing up to icon Arnold in ‘Sabotage’

There are many reasons to learn how to pronounce Joe Manganiello's last name. First, it's a sign of respect, and Manganiello deserves that. Second, it's a simple courtesy that should be extended to anyone you're going to have a conversation with. And finally, Manganiello stands about eight-foot-three and could easily fold about 95% of us in half and shove us up our own butts without breaking a sweat, so perhaps we should try to avoid angering him.

There are a few scenes in “Sabotage,” the gnarly new crime thriller from David Ayer, where Manganiello goes head-to-head to Arnold Schwarzenegger, and all I could think during those scenes is that you could clone Arnold, stack both of them on top of each other, and they still wouldn't be the same size as Manganiello. While that sounds like it would be a huge advantage, it's often not in Hollywood. Since the average height of a working movie star is four-feet-nine-inches, being a giant can make it hard to cast someone.

Thankfully, there are directors who are willing to take the chance, and as soon as someone figures out that Manganiello is basically a real-world superhero, he'll end up with some film franchise that launches him to the next level of stardom. After all, he's got a very centered charm, he has worked as a stunt performer which makes him even more credible as an action star, he's got a strong personality, and he's able to play dangerous at the drop of a hat. His work on “True Blood” gave him a chance to show off his range, and he's rumored to be in Terrence Malick's upcoming “Knight Of Cups,” although no one is officially in a Malick movie until Malick finishes editing it.

We talked about how it was for him to go head-to-head to Arnold in “Sabotage,” and he strikes me as a guy who takes full advantage of every opportunity he gets. His choices for how to play his character are interesting, both in terms of the external (his hair is something else) and the internal. He gives pretty good crazy, and when everyone's chewing scenery, it's hard to stand out. I hope this is the beginning of even more big roles for the guy, because anyone who can stand his ground against an icon like Arnold is ready to step up and become an icon in his own right.

“Sabotage” opens everywhere today.

PS – it's “Man-jen-ello.”