"It was uncomfortable at first," the True Blood star admits

By Paul Chi
Updated April 28, 2012 05:00 PM
Fernando Leon/Getty

For True Blood‘s Joe Manganiello, playing a stripper for the upcoming movie Magic Mike meant wearing a thong for the first time.

“I wore these little thongs that literally go up your butt, and it definitely takes getting used to,” Manganiello, 35, told PEOPLE at the IWC Schaffhausen watch boutique opening in New York.

“It was uncomfortable at first. It sort of felt like a wedgie,” he said, “but once you get into the routine of wearing one, you know what to do and you just do your thing. We all had to suffer a bit for our craft.”

Now that the hunky, 6’5″ actor has experience wearing a thong, “I have so much respect for all women who choose to wear them,” he said, laughing. “It’s not easy wearing one.”

But did Manganiello feel self-conscious stripping down in his G-string in front of his costars Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey and Alex Pettyfer?

“No, we all took our turn in the barrel,” he said. “Being with the guys, nobody takes them self too seriously. Everybody was on set cheering, laughing and rolling on the ground.”

He does admit to some nerves about his parents watching him do a beefcake fireman dance routine.

“I told my parents not to go see this,” he said of the film, due out June 29. “Nothing can prepare them for what about they are going to see.”

Continued the actor: “My publicist saw it and couldn’t form a sentence afterwards. Anybody who knows me is going to definitely see me in a different light. My character’s name is Big Dick Richie for a reason.”