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The absence of Philip Seymour Hoffman was impossible to ignore at the premiere of Anton Corbijn’s latest film, a terrorist-spy drama based on John Le Carré’s book “A Most Wanted Man.”

The film marks one of the actor’s last projects before his unexpected death earlier this year, lending an unintended weight to the already dark film. Widely regarded as one of the most refined masters of his craft, Hoffman brings the book-to-film adaptation to life.

This story first appeared in the July 25, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“It was in my interest to lift the story through one person, the one guy versus the system,” Corbijn said Tuesday night at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. “With Phil I think once he established the kind of guy he was going to play, there was not so much need [for direction].”

Robin Wright and Rachel McAdams also star in the film, but it was McAdams mainly who took on press duties for the cast, speaking candidly about working with the late Hoffman. “He was such a presence. I just so admired how he embodied the role so fully, and his commitment to that role,” she said. “He made every scene feel kind of edgy and dangerous, and yet you felt completely like you had a safety net underneath you still. That you could jump and that it would be OK, it would still be a great scene. You could kind of go anywhere with him.”

Afterward, the crowd at the Cinema Society and Montblanc-hosted premiere at MoMA — Julianna Margulies, Ellen Burstyn, Calvin Klein, Lily Kwong, Paul Haggis and Lena Hall among them — headed over to toast the film at The Skylark, where they were greeted by another unexpected star: Mick Jagger. It was the second night in a row that Jagger worked the movie-party circuit and he set up court in a corner booth, getting up only to pose with McAdams. The backdrop of Times Square was bright behind them even from 30 floors up.

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