"It's only downhill from here."
“Don’t do it,” whispers “Like Crazy” star Felicity Jones.
“Stay away!” urges co-star Anton Yelchin.
That’s their advice for people thinking of getting into a long-distance relationship, and the actors are only sort of kidding. The romantic, sad “Like Crazy,” opening Nov. 4, demonstrates that bridging a love across London and Los Angeles isn’t as easy as just knowing the other person cares about you. When British college student Anna (Jones) violates her visa to spend the summer with her American boyfriend Jacob (Yelchin, pronounced yell-chin), she’s forbidden from returning to the States, and the lovebirds’ connection faces its biggest challenge—especially considering the presence of Jacob’s fetching co-worker Sam (Jennifer Lawrence).
To build their chemistry for the largely improvised film, Yelchin, Jones and director/co-writer Drake Doremus rehearsed 12 hours a day for five straight days. The connection comes through wonderfully on screen. and increases the name recognition for the 22-year-old Yelchin, best known for his roles in “Star Trek” and “Fright Night,” and 27-year-old Jones, who has several more projects on the way, including “Hysteria” with Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy, and Doremus’ untitled next film, which shot this past summer with Guy Pearce and Amy Ryan.
At the Four Seasons Hotel, Yelchin and Jones, who says she’s “ridiculed constantly” by Yelchin and Doremus “because I’m English,” talked about separating themselves from their improv-influenced characters, singer Fergie’s thoughts on missing someone and how different punctuation would have made “Like Crazy” a much different movie.
When thinking of songs about missing someone, I can’t help but think of Fergie singing, “I’m going to miss you like a child misses his blanket.” How well did she capture the feeling of longing there?
Felicity Jones: [Laughs.]
Anton Yelchin: I don’t even know that Fergie song.
FJ: I don’t know [it either], but I think it’s a good line.
You think that works?
FJ: When you’re a kid you really like your blanket—
AY: What are the lyrics to “Miss You,” to the Stones song? I just remember [sings music], “Do do do do do-do-do. Do do do do do-do-do. ‘Cause I miss you.”
Felicity, how do you know when a blanket loves you back?
FJ: Oh, I don’t know. That’s hard. I don’t know. Can a blanket love you back? I think it’s pretty unrequited affection that you have for a blanket.
AY: Blankets are pretty selfless, though.
FJ: They’re selfish!
AY: They’re selfless! Have you ever seen a blanket at the beginning of a relationship with a baby and at the end? By the end it’s like a nothing.
FJ: You’re right. A blanket’s very giving.
Obviously Fergie had more to say on the issue than the Stones.
FJ: [Laughs.] We can’t even think of the [Stones] lyrics.
AY: Fergie knows what’s up!
Most people would say long-distance relationships don’t work, yet given the opportunity to get into one many give it a shot anyway. Why do people think they can do what others can’t?
FJ: I think it’s because of having text messages and Skype. I think technology makes you think you can. I’m sure back in the day, when it was a boat ride to see someone for two weeks, it wasn’t the same … Having all these inventions makes you feel that you can still have that intimacy, but I think it’s a bit of a false notion.
AY: I think when they’re in it they don’t think it’s going to fail. I think people don’t want to lose someone just because of distance. When they really care about one another, you don’t want to say, “Oh, just because we’re going to be in different places …”
FJ: “We’re just going to give up.”
AY: You never just want to give it up.