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James Gandolfini's last film Enough Said screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday.
Director Nicole Holofcener opened the screening by introducing the cast and acknowledging that simply one of the best wasn't with them, Los Angeles Times reports. The line was met with applause.
The film, which stars Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), is about Dreyfus' divorcee Eva, who decides to give love another chance with Gandolfini's Albert. Eva later finds out that he is the ex that her friend (played by Catherine Keener) always talks about, saying he was awful.
According to The Kansas City Star, Holofcener talked about how Gandolfini kept trying to talk her out of casting the actor.
"He would list some actors he thought could a much better job," the director said. "I felt confident he could do this part. More than he did. He was quite certain that he couldn't pull it off."
"I didn't feel like I was taking a risk," she added. "A lot of people said, 'Oh, no one's ever seen him in a role like this.' But if you watch 'The Sopranos,' he has an enormous range. That character wasn't just a bully."
The Sopranos actor passed away earlier this year in June at the age of 51. He suffered a heart attack while attending the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily.
Holofcener also said, "I really wish he could have seen the finished film, because hopefully he would have seen how lovely he is in it."