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Berlin: What Shia LaBeouf Said Before He Stalked Out of the 'Nymphomaniac' Press Conference (UPDATED)

Photo of Tom Christie By Tom Christie | Thompson on Hollywood February 9, 2014 at 1:21PM

During the press conference for “Nymphomaniac Volume 1 (Long Version),” screened at the Berlin Film Festival Sunday, Shia LaBeouf sat silently and oh-so-mysteriously with a cap down over his eyes. When a journalist asked him and Stacy Martin about their sex scenes – how much preparation did they have, was it difficult, etc., LaBeouf directed Martin to go first.
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Shia LaBeouf in Berlin
Shia LaBeouf in Berlin
Lars von Trier at the Berlin Film Festival
Lars von Trier at the Berlin Film Festival

During the press conference for “Nymphomaniac Volume 1 (Long Version),” screened at the Berlin Film Festival Sunday, Shia LaBeouf sat silently and oh-so-mysteriously with a cap down over his eyes. UPDATE: This was an improvement on the Berlin premiere, when he wore a bag over his head.

When a journalist asked him and Stacy Martin about their sex scenes – how much preparation did they have, was it difficult, etc., LaBeouf (who has been struggling with media and legal issues) directed Martin to go first. She said she trusted von Trier – who participated in the photo call, wearing a Persona Non Grata Official Selection T-Shirt, but kept his post-Cannes word not to participate in any press conference -- and that she and her co-star had discussed and prepared, and at some point she had wanted simply to do the scenes. She looked back to LaBeouf who said to the audience:

Shia LaBeouf
Shia LaBeouf

 “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.” 

Then he thanked everyone, stood up and walked out. (LaBeouf was quoting one-time Manchester United footballer Eric Cantona's 1995 press conference after he had won an appeal against a two-week prison sentence for kicking a fan.) The conference with Uma Thurman, Christian Slater, and Stellan Skarsgård went on without him. (Our Cannes 2011 von Trier video interview here, 'Nymphomaniac' review here.)

This article is related to: Shia LaBeouf, Nymphomaniac, Lars von Trier, Berlin International Film Festival


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.