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Steve Carell Talks To The Animals

In his new comedy, "Evan Almighty" Steve Carell is one among the animals.

It's a reprisal of his role in the Jim Carrey comedy, "Bruce Almighty," in which he played an anchorman. In this new film, he has left the anchor desk and was just elected to Congress. He moves his family to Virginia and has a big new home and prospects for a new career.

"That's when I'm visited by Morgan Freeman, playing God, and instructed to build an ark," Carell told Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen. "I pray because I look for God's help to change the world. How am I going to change the world? But I'm very misguided. My character. Not me, I'm not misguided at all. My character's misguided. I am completely on track."

God charges Evan to build an ark, much like Noah from the Bible. Evan has no choice in the matter; he must build the ark whether he wants to or not. As he progresses, his appearance starts to change. His hair gets longer and he starts wearing robes. Pretty soon, he looks like Moses, which didn't always go over with Carell's 3-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter.

Photos: "Evan Almighty" Debuts
"My son didn't even recognize me," he said. "He did not know who I was. He was pleasant and cordial but I wasn't dad and my daughter would have nothing to do with me. She knew it was me, but was a little freaked out by the whole thing."

Another difficult aspect of making the movie was working with all the animals. He had tarantulas crawling on his face and baboons, he said, were very difficult.

"They would not come out of their trailers," he joked. "They had special dietary concerns."

But in all seriousness, Carell said the animals got very used to their work, and there was a harmony between man and beast.

"After a few weeks of working with them, there was sort of a calm that was pervasive," he said. "The animals were more used to us and us with them. …You can walk on the set and there's an elephant and giraffe and bison, it's like, good morning, guys. It was sort of remarkable, the whole experience."