The film, which opens in U.S. theaters on Friday, portrays the tragic relationship between du Pont and the wrestlers Mark and Dave Schultz, brothers who won Olympic gold medals.
Carell, 52, best known for smash comedies like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and the hit TV series “The Office,” talked to Reuters about his creepy appearance and exploring his character’s past.
Q: How did you prepare to play du Pont?
A: I thought about who he was as a little kid, the environment he grew up in. He was very sheltered. He essentially grew up in this enormous estate with his mother, who by all accounts was not the most warm person … At his core, he was a very lonely person.
And all those things sort of layered on top in terms of how he became a sportsman and interested in wrestling and other sports and how he surrounded himself with these men that he perceived as great athletes and great Americans. He just yearned for so much that he just didn’t have the tools to acquire.