Steve Carell: From comedy genius to dramatic success

Steve Carell breaks from his comedy roots to portray John du Pont in the film "Foxcatcher," a role that has earned the former "Office" star his first Oscar nomination.

Du Pont was the heir to his famous family's fortune but became infamous after being convicted of murdering Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz. Carell was initially apprehensive about portraying the eccentric millionaire.

"I didn't know how it was going to work out, I didn't know if I was right for it or whether it was something I could pull off and it was definitely out of my comfort zone," he said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning." "I think that was a good thing because I learned a lot from it."

From a fake television personality to an absent-minded boss, Carell has been working on his shtick ever since he stepped into the spotlight. But unlike his comedic projects, "Foxcatcher" wasn't a blip on his radar initially. It was his agent who recommended him for the role.

"I said 'Why me? I clearly wasn't on any list before this.' And he said "Partly because of your public persona,'" Carell said. "I have a very benign public persona, as did du Pont. He was not someone that anyone would imagine could do the things that he did."

For the role, Carell underwent a physical transformation, concealing his normally bright-eyed persona under creepy prosthetics.

"The strangest part was the way other people looked at me, and I saw the reflection of what I looked like in their eyes," Carell said. "I didn't know until I arrived on set that first time how people were going to respond, if they did at all, and it was off-putting."

The make-up was so powerful, Carell said it actually impeded him from forming relationships with his co-stars Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo.

"Not until we starting promoting the film and then we got to become friends," Carell said. "They're great guys."

More recently, Carell made headlines with some older friends - former "Daily Show" compatriots Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert - after a video of the trio topless was shared on the "Comedy Central" show's Instagram page.

"I've known Stephen Colbert since the mid-80s, at Second City. We've been friends and coworkers for a long, long time. And we're kind of pinching ourselves, you know? He in his new job, and me and all this stuff. It's exciting," Colbert said. "I saw Jon on the circuit with his movie, and same thing. We're interlopers. How did we get into this whole thing?"

For Carell's full interview, watch the video in the player above.