Movies

Kathie Lee and Hoda get hands on with 'Magic Mike's' Joe Manganiello

March 24, 2014 at 12:38 PM ET

"True Blood" and "Magic Mike" star Joe Manganiello has a new movie coming out, and it sees him taking on a decidedly different role. Rather than playing a sexy werewolf or a sexy stripper, in the action-packed "Sabotage," the actor plays an intense member of a DEA task force. But, of course, he's still sexy, as TODAY's Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb couldn't help but notice.

In fact, for the role of Joe "Grinder" Philips, Manganiello bulked up his already sizable physique for an even more muscular look.

"I put on about 20 pounds for it," he revealed during a Monday morning visit to TODAY. "Yeah, I mean, when you know you're going to be on screen with your action-movie icon/childhood hero, Arnold Schwarzenegger, you better bring it."

Schwarzenegger plays the lead in the film, but it was Manganiello's transformation that had Gifford's attention as she reached over to grab his bicep.

"Oh, it's real baby," she insisted. "No faking that stuff!"

"You felt it before when I was here for 'Magic Mike,'" the actor reminded her.

"That's nobody's business, OK?" she said. "There are some perks to this job"

Another perk? Grilling the guest about his dating status. Actually, Gifford first asked about whether or not Manganiello had any tattoos, like his latest character, but a misunderstanding led to his relationship-free reveal, and Kotb hoped to learn more.

"I'm single," he assured her. "No tattoos, no girlfriend."

Well, in that case, Gifford thought it was only fair for Kotb to get "a little feel" of Manganiello too.

"I'll get the other side," Gifford added as she reached out again.

"This is a nice way to start a morning!" the star said with a grin.

See more of Manganiello when "Sabotage" opens in theaters nationwide on March 28. 

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