Taking on her first comedy with the Sundance-premiering The Long Dumb Road, Sundance alum Hannah Fidell (A Teacher) found a game cast who would go with her on a classic journey through the American Southwest.

Fidell’s film centers on Nathan (Tony Revolori), whose car breaks down on the road as he journeys to Los Angeles for his freshman year of college. At this transformative juncture, Nathan meets Richard (Jason Mantzoukas), a rowdy local mechanic who ends up joining him on his journey, helping him reevaluate his life philosophy while pounding beers and sparking a joint or two.

The Long Dumb Road stemmed from a conversation with Fidell’s friend, Moonlight editor Nat Sanders, who told her a “crazy story” on a hike one day. “He picked up a homeless guy in Austin on his way to Los Angeles and I thought it was just a classic tale,” the director explained, appearing yesterday at Deadline’s Sundance Studio with stars Revolori, Mantzoukas, and Grace Gummer.

“I didn’t know that story,” Gummer said.

“Yeah, me neither,” Revolori added.

“I knew it,” Mantzoukas exclaimed, setting the tone of the conversation. “I knew what you morons didn’t know at all.”

For Fidell, settling on a location for her road trip picture was an easy task, with her experience on previous projects. “I’ve shot all of the movies I’ve made in the southwest. There’s just something really iconic about it,” she said. “That’s what we think about when we think about the ‘great American road trip.’”

To hear more from Deadline’s conversation with Fidell and her cast, click above.

The Deadline Studio at Sundance 2018 is presented by Hyundai. Special thanks to Calii Love.