Long distance relationships are difficult enough to master in real life; it’s no wonder Hollywood has had trouble capturing their complexities on the big screen.
Thankfully, a Sundance gem called “Like Crazy,” which has quickly become one of the buzziest entries at this year’s festival, has just changed all that with a truthful and bittersweet portrayal of managing — and, as often as not, failing to manage — love from afar.
Directed by Drake Doremus, the mostly improvised movie follows a young couple (“Star Trek’s” Anton Yelchin, 21 and relative newcomer Felicity Jones, 27, in what deserves to be a breakout role) and their relationship over the course of eight years.
MTV News got the two stars together for an interview to talk about the Sundance fav, as well as how they attained their rooted-in-reality on-screen relationship. “We went to a training camp on how to be friends,” joked Yelchin, as Jones cracked back, “We hated each other at first, but we managed to make it work.”
Jones said that while she didn’t necessarily find the filming therapeutic, she knew what she had to do to make “Like Crazy” effective. “I felt for the film to work we couldn’t give ’performances,’ in a traditional sense. It had to be something more honest and more unaware.”
Of course, as much trust as the actors put in one another, Jones said it was the relationship with Doremus that was the most crucial. “The hardest thing was trusting Drake, in a sense, because the film is made in the edit [room] because we improvised so many of the scenes. So we had to make sure that we had a good working relationship, which we established in the first two weeks.”
While some moviegoers may not be able to categorize it, be it a drama or a love story, Jones had her own description of “Like Crazy”: “It’s the film equivalent of jazz.” Yelchin had the same outlook about the project, particularly after the rehearsals wrapped and the actors were allowed, he explained, to let “whatever happened, happened.”
That loose attitude, as well as a very small crew working 12-hour days, is what really allowed the actors to feel at ease during some of the film’s more intimate, skin-revealing scenes from bedroom to bathtub. As Jones put it, “You feel free to expose yourself and be naked, so to speak.”