Joe Manganiello Shares Details About Falling in Love With Wife Sofia Vergara

Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara are one of Hollywood’s hottest couple and a seemingly perfect match.

Vergara starred in one of America’s most beloved sitcoms, Modern Family, as Gloria Pritchett. Manganiello, who may be best known for his role in True Blood, is no stranger to sitcoms himself, having played a recurring character on How I Met Your Mother.

The two met at a turbulent time in Vergara’s life, but now, nearing their five-year anniversary, they can look back and see it all worked out for the best.

Sofia Vergara had a bumpy road leading up to her relationship with Manganiello

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Vergara, 47 now, didn’t always have such great romantic partners. Famously, Tom Cruise tried to court her to be his Scientology wife before marrying Katie Holmes, but she was able to dodge his advances and the two were never officially a couple.

Her dating history before that had its ups and downs. When Vergara was still in her home country of Columbia, she married her high school sweetheart Jose Luis Gonzalez at the age of 18. Soon after she had her son Manolo, and the couple divorced after two years together.

After that, she dated Chris Paciello, and gangster who ended up getting charged for murder in a botched robbery and spent six years in prison.

Despite the charges, Vergara remained friends with Paciello, a fact that caused a rift between her and her next boyfriend turned fiancé, Nick Loeb, whom she started dating in 2010. She was still with Loeb when she first met Manganiello, or at least she appeared to be.

Sofia Vergara was engaged just before she met Joe Manganiello

Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello at the 22nd Annual Screen Guild Awards.
Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello | Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Turner

In 2014, Manganiello first saw Vergara in person at the White House Correspondent’s party, and he was instantly smitten. He told Us Weekly: “She was wearing this dress that looked great on her and I just could not take my eyes off of her.” He decided he wanted to go wherever she went and ended up following her around the party. 

Manganiello was introduced to Vergara and Loeb. In the hotel after the encounter he thought to himself in disappointment: “Man I guess that’s not gonna work out.”

Not long after that, he found out the two were actually already split at the time, a fact the friend that had introduced them was already privy to but hadn’t told him.

Joe Manganiello flew to New Orleans to date Sofia Vergara

Manganiello could not wait to take a chance at dating Vergara after finding out she was single, and they began talking on the phone. Vergara was shooting a film in New Orleans at the time and said their first date would have to wait until she was back in LA the following month. Manganiello was not going to wait that long.

He told Us Weekly: “I said ‘I’m coming to New Orleans, if you’re not available I’m just gonna do some sightseeing, but I’m gonna be there and if you’re free I can take you out,.’ She said, ‘You’re crazy.’ I said, ‘I’ll see you next week.'”

He told Jimmy Fallon that in the airport when he arrived to see her, he saw himself on the cover of People’s bachelor issue and grabbed a copy to show Vergara. He told her that if she needed to be single just coming out of her engagement he understood, but wanted to show her something before she answered.

When handed the magazine, true to her hilarious nature, Vergara flipped right past his interview. When he asked why she told him, “I’m seeing who else is on the list.”

He told Haute Living that their first date was her giving reasons why they would never work out as a couple: “‘You’re too young, you’re an actor, you’re this, you’re that,’ and she was just doing it to hear herself say it. She was trying to talk herself out of going there.”

It seems his persistence and certainty paid off, and he proposed that Christmas. They married the following year.