Master thespians of Jennifer Jason Leigh and Edward Norton's caliber often are said to disappear into their roles. But the feat that Just Shoot Me co-star Enrico Colantoni achieves in TNT's upcoming James Dean biopic (airing Sunday at 8 pm/ET) is, for some reason, trumpeted a bit less frequently.

"I played Elia Kazan with a wig and a fake nose," he tells TV Guide Online. "Elia Kazan has a big ol' honker."

Of course, the actor means no disrespect to Dean's East of Eden director. In fact, during production, he often consulted with his director, an expert on his real-life character. "Mark Rydell is friends with [Kazan]," the actor explains. "So I used him as a guideline. So long as he was happy, I knew we weren't insulting anybody... We weren't doing anything sacrilegious. That made it okay."

Given that his performance bears Rydell's stamp of authenticity, Colantoni could be disappointed that he won't be more readily recognizable in the movie. Yet he insists that, even if he could do it all over again, he never would trade in his brilliant disguise to get set apart as a genius performer.

"I like it when there's a nose and hair to hide behind," deadpans the former Yale Drama School student. "I like to do as little acting as possible."