Comic actor Ayoade jokes about a special relationship he thinks he shares with Redford

From left, Richard Ayoade and Jesse Eisenberg pose for a portrait at The Collective and Gibson Lounge Powered by CEG, during the Sundance Film Festival, on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP)

PARK CITY, Utah - Richard Ayoade says his connection to Sundance founder Robert Redford runs deeper than most filmmakers.

"I think Robert is grateful that I came. Now he's too proud to say that. But you can see in his eyes," Ayoade joked in an interview. "He doesn't want to focus the whole thing on me at this stage. It's kind of between us."

Ayoade, a British comedic actor, made his feature directing debut with the 2011 Sundance coming-of-age movie "Submarine." He claims a warm welcome from the 77-year-old Redford after returning this year with "The Double," which he directed and co-wrote.

"He's there turning down the beds, making sure everyone's got enough eggs. He's all over it. He's just there. But that's just Robert. He does too much, I tell him. He won't listen. It keeps him busy, that's the thing. Because otherwise the mind goes," Ayoade said in an interview, maintaining a deadpan face while his film's star Jesse Eisenberg giggled beside him.

"And he's pretty much all there still. He's sharp. I mean there's sometimes a delay. He'll drift off. But he'll come back within five minutes. You just stick with it. . But sometimes he just hits the deck and does mess-ups and I'm going, 'I don't know you.' A lot of it is about circulation. You've got to keep the blood moving. And joints. You've got to keep your joints opened. And he's more aware of that than anyone. I mean that's why he's been in the business so long."

As Ayoade kept up his story, Eisenberg was nearly doubled over with laughter.

"He likes a deep stretch. He works on his glutes a lot. But the thing with Robert is that if you stretch him too far he can snap. A little bit like a brandy snap. Because you know there's a straw component to him. You know how he kind of looks a little bit like he's made out of wheat? So if he says 'Sundance kid' you stop that deep stretch."

"Why do you think it's called Sundance? That is his safe word. We're in his safe word," Ayoade concluded.

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