Joe Manganiello not only plays a professional criminal in a new campaign for Magnum Gold ice cream, but he was also one in real life.

But don't worry, the True Blood star's thievery didn't land him behind bars.

"This is completely dorky, but I used to read comic books so fast," Manganiello told me on the set of a Magnum short film that will debut later this month at the Tribeca Film Festival. "I was a total comic book geek, and I used to read them so fast that I'd just steal them."

However, his conscience eventually got to him. "I did go back in my late twenties and I found the store in Pittsburgh," Manganiello said. "The comics were still in my mom's closet. I called up the store and it was the same owner and the same location and I went and returned to him all of the comic books that I stole."

Now, more about Magnum.

"Isn't it a coincidence that I'm here as a spokesman for Magnum and I played a character named Big Dick Richie [in Magic Mike]?" Manganiello said with a laugh. "When my mother heard that I was going to be a spokesman for Magnum, she got really upset, but I said, 'No, no, no, Mom—it's ice cream."

The short film also features Project Runway's Zac Posen and a one-of-a-kind 24-karat gold dress that he designed valued at $1.5 million. Manganiello said his character is trying to pull "off the heist of the century, but unfortunately—or fortunately—for me, I cross paths with another professional criminal also after the same loot.

"She also happens to be a beautiful Brazilian model," he smiled.

So is the totally ripped Manganiello actually an ice cream eater?

"I am," he said.

But then he quickly added, "When I'm not running around naked in the woods."

For more of our exclusive with Manganiello, check out tonight's E! News at 7 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

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