The 39-year-old stars alongside Will Ferrell in new film The Other Guys but admitted that he was nervous about doing justice to the light-hearted role.
"It's taken a long time, but I wanted to wait for the right part. I've been dying to do a comedy for a long time," he told Parade.
"There have been comedic elements in performances I've done in the past, but to take on a full-blown comedy coming from a dramatic background, it's a risky move. If it's not good, they'll crucify you and you'll obviously never get the chance to do it again."
He added that he felt comfortable taking part in the project as he trusted Ferrell's comedic experience as well as the vision of the film's writers.
"I felt very comfortable when it came to anything cop-ish or action-related. But with all of the other comedic stuff, I just basically wanted to follow their lead. We improvised every scene. We'd shoot what was on the page and then we'd improvise for the rest of the day," he explained.
"[Writers Adam McKay and Chris Henchy] came to me. They wrote the part specifically for me, so it was certainly the best case scenario to taking a plunge into the comedy world."
The Other Guys is now playing in US cinemas and will open in the UK on September 2.