Anthony Breznican
January 24, 2011 AT 03:51 PM EST

Image Credit: image.netJust hours after Sundance’s hit romance Like Crazy sold to Paramount Pictures for a festival-topping $4 million, the director and cast stopped by the EW studios to talk about why the story of a star-crossed long-distance couple had struck such a nerve with its first audience. Director and co-writer Drake Doremus was inspired by his own experiences to create the touching story of a Los Angeles guy (Anton Yelchin, Star Trek) and a London girl (Felicity Jones, The Tempest) yearning to stay together despite immigration and work problems pulling them apart. “It came from some past relationships,” he said. “I was just trying to do something honest and convey what it’s like to go through a long-distance relationship, and how gray it is, how it’s not black-and-white. It’s difficult, and it’s really nobody’s fault.”

In our EW video interview (below), Jones said Like Crazy was largely improvised from Doremus’ outline, and that being spontaneous in front of the camera gave it a voyeuristic feeling: “It feels as though it’s always being snatched, and you’re watching something, and you sort of shouldn’t be.”

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