Joe Manganiello on Sofia Vergara: Getting Sober Helped Me Meet the Woman of my Dreams

By McCarton Ackerman 03/03/16

The 39-year-old actor has opened up to Men's Health magazine about his fight with alcohol addiction. 

Photo via Shutterstock/DFree

True Blood star Joe Manganiello made headlines last November by getting married to actress Sofia Vergara, but he said that overcoming alcoholism was the only way he would have been in a position to meet the Modern Family star.

Speaking to Men’s Health magazine, Manganiello said that getting sober more than 13 years ago helped him to become "the man that I dreamed of being, and the result was I met the woman of my dreams." He also touched on his rocky relationship with alcohol, explaining that his issues “were all internal,” but that “the drink just helped me to quell all the ill feelings I could remember having since I was a child. I was an addict before I ever picked up a drink.”

Manganiello has been open about his recovery in the past. He told HuffPost Live in December 2013 that his drinking always "got in the way [of his career]" and that he had needed to get sober for “about four years” before finally doing so in 2002.

"My life was ruined…I was homeless, careless and broke with no career, so yes, it was worth it [to get sober]," he said. "It was one of those obstacles that I had to get over and once again I needed to clear the road in order for these things to happen, so it really is an inside job. I had to clean up my act and figure that whole situation out."

Manganiello also admitted to GQ in July 2014 that "had I not been able to [quit drinking], I'd be dead. Now, I’m all about water, diet coke and coffee." Having reached the peak of his life personally and professionally at age 39, Manganiello now wants his transformation to serve as an example for others that it’s never too late to change.

“People are always like, ‘I need to find myself!’ You are who you want to be. In my twenties, I made a lot of choices that were opposite of who I wanted to be. In my thirties, I grew up,” he told Men's Health. “I think that we’re redefining what it means to be in your thirties and forties as a man. It’s not over. There’s so much to be done. That can be done."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.