The Like Crazy star chats about the film's surprise success and the key to long-distance romance.
Having carved a name for herself in the likes of Cemetery Junction and Albatross, 2012 looks set to be the year to land Felicity Jones on the fast track to stardom. Her head-turning performance alongside Anton Yelchin in Like Crazy won her the Grand Jury Prize at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. LWLies sat down with Jones recently to discuss the film’s surprise success, and the key to long-distance romance.
LWLies: You must have been thrilled with the response at Sundance last year. Did it come as quite a big surprise to you how people responded to it?
Jones: Absolutely. We just made this very small, intimate film in a month and had absolutely no expectations really. We just threw ourselves in to it and hoped that it would be something that a few people would see and for it to have the reception it’s had has been pretty extraordinary.
Why do you feel that is?
I think it’s a love story and people, whatever age you are and wherever you are in the world, can relate to that and can relate to the difficulties, but also the fun of being in a relationship.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love?
[Laughs] Whenever you think about this question you usually think to yourself ‘I’m probably so unromantic’. I can’t think of anything remotely crazy that I’ve done for love, which is a terrible situation for any human being to be in. Let me think. I guess the key is to be spontaneous, because I think relationships just die when you give up on each other. And it’s being able to say… I remember just saying ‘Let’s get on a train and go somewhere’. Doing something completely different, I think that’s the key, just to not get stuck.
You’re working with Drake Doremus again on another project at the moment. How does that familiar working relationship aid the creative process for you?
Oh it just makes it… when you find good people to work with, you have to stick with them because we just have a way of working that’s very instinctive. We both understand each other and we keep working at a scene and we’ll keep going until it’s right. Sometimes we can be quite sort of argumentative with each other and that relationship is great because it means you can produce something really interesting at the end of it.
And his style involves a lot of improvisation doesn’t it? As an actor, do you find that quite liberating to work with?
Yeah, absolutely. The whole film was improvised. We had an outline and then we found the dialogue through our improvisation. And dialogue is something I’m quite obsessed about. You know when it’s right, so it’s nice to be able to create it yourself because then it’s coming genuinely from the character.
And did that come out of discussions you had with Drake and Anton or did Drake give you pointers to start with?
Yeah, we’ll do a few takes and we’ll just see what the immediate instincts are and then Drake comes in an we’ll just tweak things. It’s mainly making sure that you have, as a character, a really strong objective for the scene. So making sure that you know what the person wants from this situation and then the dialogue comes out of that.
One last thing – that massive phone bill that Jacob and Anna must have clocked up…
Has anyone asked you about that?
No, no one has mentioned this huge phone bill, which would happen, obviously.
Did that not factor in to conversations with Drake when you were making the film?
Well, unfortunately they didn’t have Skype did they? When did Skype come in? That came in…
Sort of 2006-ish maybe?
Yeah, the characters weren’t really in to technology I don’t think. I think the phone bill is just one of the conditions of a long distance relationship. And it’s interesting how you think it’s worth paying whatever it is in order to maintain a relationship. I think it’s a necessity really. And luckily Skype and Gmail Chat make that a lot more cost effective.