Spike Jonze has revealed that closing the 2013 New York Film Festival with his unconventional love story Her felt like a "home-coming".
The Oscar-nominated filmmaker was joined by the film's stars Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and Olivia Wilde at the world premiere at Lincoln Centre's Alice Tully Hall on October 12, with the exception of Scarlett Johansson, who was unable to attend due to filming commitments in the UK, reported Entertainment Weekly.
"The New York Film Festival means a lot to me. This is where I got to premiere my first film, Being John Malkovich," Spike said before the screening.
The Maryland-born director added of Scarlett's absence: "She is in the ether with us, as she will be in the movie."
Her, which marks Spike's solo writing debut, stars Joaquin as a lonely man who rebounds from his divorce from Rooney Mara's character by dating his operating system, voiced by Scarlett.
Rooney, who wore a monochrome Proenza Schouler dress, admitted that Spike had initial doubts about casting her as Joaquin's wife, because she seemed too young.
"Joaquin is older than me, but he feels kind of young, he has a young spirit. When I read the script, it was just so powerful, I loved it so much, so even though Spike thought I was too young, I went after it and convinced him to hire me," she said.
The 28-year-old actress revealed the film will be a talking point.
"There's so many thought-provoking ideas, and I don't think there's one thing to take away from it. Every day while shooting it, I would... have a million things running through my head about relationships, about everything; I think that's what happens when you see the film as well," she added.
Her opens in UK cinemas in January 2014.