Deborah Ann Woll is an actress known for her roles in The Punisher, Daredevil, and True Blood. She is also a Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast who guest-starred in Critical Role and DM’s her own show on Geek & Sundry. Joe Manganiello is an actor known for his roles in True Blood and Justice League, and also loves playing D&D. He has also been a guest star on Critical Role and owns his own Dungeons and Dragons themed basement. Both of them sat down with D&D Beyond to discuss the game and its impact.
When asked about Woll’s tendency to try to start D&D groups on film sets she works on, her response was:
“It’s because all I want to talk about is D&D!”
As Woll talked about how it impacted her life and why she enjoys playing, she said:
“I’m curious how people see the world. My job as an actor is to see the world through the character’s eyes . . . Everyone in this Dungeons and Dragons community is so open-armed and just wants you to come and play. Be anyone you want to be. Experience whatever you want to experience.”
When asked how Gary Gygax, creator of D&D, impacted Manganiello’s life, he said:
“There are several ways Gary Gygax impacted me on a personal level. Because I am a professional artist and storyteller. . . I spent thirty thousand hours just writing stories and creating characters . . . This game was a way of working my imagination as a kid and somehow it found me, or I found it. Whatever it was, my brain was perfectly compatible with tabletop roleplaying. Which is contributed to Gary. Because prior to Dungeons and Dragons, it was wargames. You were in control of an army and you were trying to beat this other person’s army. Or you were re-enacting battles from history. And what Gary said was, okay here’s the big army. But what it would it be like to be one of the soldiers? And what would it be like to build that character out? I don’t want to do battle re-enactments. I want to have monsters and a fantasy setting. It was revolutionary . . . Gary found a way to create an infinite sandbox to play in.”
Ashley is the author of the Thread of Souls book series, an avid traveler, and a Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast!