By Mandi Bierly
December 28, 2012 at 07:28 PM EST
Jonathan Leibson/FilmMagic

Joe Manganiello turns 36 today, and to celebrate, here’s a quick look back at his greatest EW hits.

• That time he told us about borrowing clothing from the Los Angeles fire department for his memorable MTV Movie Awards appearance: “It was hilarious. It was me, Channing [Tatum], and Matthew [McConaughey] backstage. I’ve got no shirt on and this real, f—in’ huge fireman axe I’m throwin’ around, and I’m meeting Oscar winner Charlize Theron, who’s tellin’ me about how they hired a fireman stripper for her mom’s birthday one year. [Laughs] I’m listening, but I’m nervous…. They told us ahead of time that Elizabeth Banks won. They’re like, ‘Dude, you should f—in’ carry her off.’ I’m like, ‘Okay. God bless her, I hope she goes with it.'” 

• That time he told us about shooting the upcoming David Ayer’s film Ten, in which plays a member of a task force the DEA has put together to fight against the Mexican cartels: “David told me going in, ‘You can be as mean as you want. You can be as nasty as you want. You can be as bad as you want. It’s my job to pull you back.’ So the first day of shooting, in an improv, I pulled a machete on an extra. David came up to me and was like, ‘Okay. So, I love it. But we have to worry about people falling on the machete and dying.’ So pretty much anything south of pulling a machete on an unsuspecting extra. And hell, I think that was the take. So I think even that goes.”

• That time he told us about playing Captain Morgan in Pittsburgh bars from the age of 16 to 21: “I’m 16, so I’m a little timid. I’m just worried about going to jail. So at the first bar, I was kind of scared. But then the girls were like, ‘Come over here!’ And we all started drinking off the tap. By the time [we got to] the second or the third bar, one of the bars had those cowboy doors. And by then I was f–king lit, and I was feeling it. So I kick those cowboy doors in and I go, ‘AAARRRGH!’ And the whole bar full of adults turns and goes, ‘AAARRRGH!’ And it was on. I’m leaning on the bar, squirting [the rum] in their mouths, squirting it in mine. I was singing Marilyn Manson covers with the band by the end.”

• That time he played shirtless in water for our Magic Mike cover.

• That time he made EW’s Spoiler Room video edition host Sandra Gonzalez blush while promoting Magic Mike and True Blood (he starts filming season 6 in January).

• That time we covered his Twitter #FourWay with Retta, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Octavia Spencer.

Bonus: That time I got my mom Magic Mike, which she saw four times in the theater, on DVD for Christmas — as requested.

Read more:

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): Inside Joe Manganiello’s five favorite ‘Magic Mike’ press tour moments