BERLIN – Actor Shia LaBeouf hit the Berlin Film Festival in memorable style Sunday, first walking out of a press conference for the film “Nymphomaniac Volume I” and then wearing a paper bag over his head at the red carpet premiere.
The actor posed for photographers in a stylish tuxedo — and a paper bag with eyeholes and the words “I am not famous anymore” written across it. LaBeouf has frequently used the statement on his Twitter page, and he was identifiable by a tattoo on his hand.
The unconventional attire came shortly after the star walked out of a press conference with co-stars Uma Thurman and Christian Slater to promote Lars von Trier’s film, the first installment of a two-part drama about a woman’s sexual life from girlhood to age 50.
A reporter’s question as to whether the actors were worried about the film’s sex scenes elicited the response: “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much.” He then walked out.
LaBeouf’s line was borrowed from French soccer player Eric Cantona, who baffled reporters with it in the mid-1990s following his suspension for a flying kick on a heckler.
The actor has come under fire for borrowing dialogue and story line for his short film, “Howard Cantour.com,” which closely resembled a 2007 graphic novel by Daniel Clowes.
“In my excitement and naiveté as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation,” LaBeouf said on Twitter in December in response to Clowes’ publisher’s claim that he stole dialogue verbatim.
LaBoeuf wasn’t the only one making a statement. Von Trier turned up to a photo call sporting a t-shirt with the logo of the Cannes Film Festival and the words “Persona non grata, official selection.”
In 2011, von Trier was ejected from the Cannes event after a bizarre, rambling news conference in which he expressed sympathy with Adolf Hitler. He said afterward he had been joking, later issuing an apology and then saying he would refrain from future public statements.
The director skipped Sunday’s news conference to talk about the film. The version at the festival increases to nearly 2 1/2 hours the first installment.
At the press conference, Thurman said she enjoyed letting off the “fury of woman scorned” in a monologue von Trier wrote for her in the movie. “It was a real great challenge to memorize seven pages of Lars’ female diatribe of rage,” she told reporters.
“Lars kept saying I was overacting, but that’s nothing new,” Thurman added.