Two studies examined interaction quality and joint performance on two creative tasks in unacquainted dyads primed for autonomy or control orientations. It was hypothesized that autonomy-primed dyads would interact more constructively, experience more positive mood, and engage the task more readily, and as a result these dyads would perform better. To test this, Study 1 primed orientation and explored verbal creative performance on the Remote Associates Task (RAT). In Study 2, dyads were primed with autonomy and control orientation and videotaped during two joint creative tasks, one verbal (RAT) and one nonverbal (charades). Videotapes were coded for behavioral indicators of closeness and task engagement. Results showed that autonomy-primed dyads felt closer, were more emotionally and cognitively attuned, provided empathy and encouragement to partners, and performed more effectively. The effects of primed autonomy on creative performance were mediated by interpersonal quality, mood, and joint engagement.