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Shia LaBeouf quotes Eric Cantona and walks out of Nymphomaniac press conference


Story by Jack Foley

SHIA LaBeouf has grabbed more headlines for odd behaviour after attending – albeit briefly – a press conference for his latest film, Nymphomaniac, at the Berlin Film Festival.

The actor – who has been rapidly earning a reputation for his eccentric behaviour on film sets – quoted Eric Cantona when asked a question and then walked out of the room to the surprise of his fellow actors and assembled press.

The incident in question came 10 minutes into the press conference when, according to The Hollywood Reporter, LaBeouf was asked his first question – about doing a movie that contained so many sex scenes.

He responded: “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much.”

And with that, LaBeouf departed, eventually drawing some light applause from his co-stars, Christian Slater, Stacy Martin, Stellan Skarsgard, Uma Thurman and producer Louise Vesth.

The incident did prompt a moment of silence as everyone waited to see if LaBeouf would re-appear. But as things moved on, Slater attempted to make light of the situation, joking: “Obviously, the script is packed with a lot of sardines … one sardine after another.”

LaBeouf and fellow cast members were in Berlin for the world premiere of Nymphomaniac, director Lars von Trier’s now notorious two-part drama that chronicles the sexual adventures of a woman played by Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Von Trier himself did not attend the press conference due to the vow of silence he has made following his own notorious comments [concerning Nazis] at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. He did, however, attend a photo call, brazenly wearing a Cannes T-shirt with the words “persona non grata”.

When asked what the director was like to work with, one of the director’s regular collaborators, Skarsgard, said: “When you work with Lars, you just try things and you do whatever you want. He’s a very funny man. You’ve got to learn to laugh at him a lot more.”

Editor’s note: LaBeouf was referencing the “seagulls” line from French footballing legend Eric Cantona, who once notoriously alluded to “seagulls” at a press conference following a playing ban.

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