"I could just wear my own clothes and not have to worry about anything and just be with these cool people," Gomez said in an interview Monday alongside actor-turned-director William H. Macy and the film's star, Billy Crudup.
Macy picked Gomez for a small part in his music-filled directorial debut after seeing her in "Spring Breakers" last year.
"I was stoked," Gomez said. "I was about to go on tour and I knew it was going to be a year long. I kind of get this panic attack when I know I'm not going to be on a set for a year. Just because I do love both a lot."
So the panic attacks subsided after stepping on set with the cast that includes Anton Yelchin, Felicity Huffman and Laurence Fishburne? "Yeah, what does that say about me actually?" Gomez said, laughing. "That's exactly what happened. It felt good. It felt like I got to be just in that world and kind of step out of it all."
The film revolves around a father who discovers his son's musical talents—and then some of his own musicality—after his son's death.
When asked when Gomez found her musical talent, she said, "I don't think I have yet.
"No, I'm actually serious," she said, as Crudup laughed next to her.
"Rudderless" is set to premiere Friday as the festival's closing night film.