‘Like Crazy’ Director Says He Lucked Out With Young Stars Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence

“Like Crazy” writer-director Drake Doremus took a gamble casting relatively unknown actress Felicity Jones, based solely on an audition tape the 27-year-old made in her London flat—a gamble that is paying off in spades. His indie, about a young couple torn apart after she overstays her visa and is deported, won the Grand Jury Prize for best film at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and the trailer debuted online yesterday to much deserved buzz.

For his part, Drake is more than happy to share the credit with Felicity and the rest of his young cast, which includes Anton Yelchin, Academy Award nominee Jennifer Lawrence and “Twilight” actor Charlie Bewley.

“She is this movie,” Drake said of Felicity. “It was just a total gut call [casting her]. I had never even seen her with Anton. I didn’t even know if they’d have chemistry. But she was the right person for this. This was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my career.”

Drake is hoping for a repeat seeing as he’s cast Felicity in his next as-yet-untitled project. “I can’t let her go,” he said with a laugh. “She’s making me look too good. I gotta keep working her into the ground. I’m very excited to have her in my next film.”

In another feat of keen casting, Drake nabbed Jennifer before her flirtation with Oscar earlier this year. “’Winter’s Bone’ premiered in January [2010] at Sundance, and I saw it then. We shot in June, and pretty much right after we shot the movie, [her Oscar buzz] started to ramp up in the fall. We got in when she was still kind of under the radar. That was a good bet we made, for sure.”

Then, of course, there’s Anton, who already has a diverse portfolio of projects to his name including “Charlie Bartlett,” “Star Trek” and “Terminator Salvation.” “He’s everything a great young actor needs to be,” Drake said. “He understands himself and his talents and his abilities so well that it’s really a pleasure to work with him. I think he’s going to be a very interesting actor as he grows and ages.”

Are you intrigued by “Like Crazy”? Do you plan to see it when it debuts in October? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!