Shia LaBeouf's appearance in Berlin has brought him increased attention
The actor walked out of a news conference and wore a paper bag on his head
He's done this while also proclaiming that he's "not famous anymore"
His stunts in Berlin follow weeks of odd behavior
Shia LaBeouf says he isn’t famous anymore, but actually he’s rarely been in a brighter spotlight.
For the past several weeks, the 27-year-old actor has gotten more than his fair share of publicity thanks to a rash of bizarre behavior, from his reaction to allegations of plagiarism to his recent stunts at the Berlin Film Festival, where Lars von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac – Volume 1” premiered Sunday.
At a news conference to promote the sexually explicit film, LaBeouf answered just one question before abruptly walking out of the room 10 minutes after the event began.
According to reporters present in Berlin, LaBeouf was asked to describe what it’s like to do a movie that includes so many sex scenes. In response, the former child star quoted French soccer player Eric Cantona: “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.”
As the room tried to make sense of his answer, LaBeouf made his exit. And that was just the prelude.
Later on at the “Nymphomaniac” premiere, LaBeouf showed up on the red carpet wearing a tuxedo and a paper bag over his head. As if that wasn’t eye-catching enough, the mask, which was outfitted with two holes for his eyes, had “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE” scrawled on it in black marker.
To LaBeouf’s fans, that line is all too familiar. He’s tweeted the phrase, in all caps, every day since January 20.
Making this situation even more curious are the series of events that led up to his “NOT FAMOUS” proclamation. In December, LaBeouf was hit with allegations that he plagiarized author Daniel Clowes’ work for his short film, “HowardCantour.com,” and the actor soon copped to using Clowes’ art without proper credit.
“I f****d up,” he said at the time in a tweeted statement. “In my excitement and naiveté as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation … I’m embarrassed that I failed to credit @danielclowes for his original graphic novella Justin M. Damiano, which served as my inspiration … I was truly moved by his piece of work & I knew that it would make a poignant & relevant short. I apologize to all who assumed I wrote it.”
A few days after that statement, however, LaBeouf started taking the concept to extremes. He began responding to the vitriol online with more plagiarism, borrowing from mea culpas by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and even “Nymphomaniac” director von Trier.
In January, LaBeouf literally took his apologies to a higher level, hiring an airplane to sky write “I am sorry Daniel Clowes” in Los Angeles.
Before anyone could figure out what LaBeouf was really up to – there were rumors that his strangeness was actually performance art – he announced that he was retiring.
“In light of the recent attacks against my artistic integrity, I am retiring from all public life,” he said on January 10. “My love goes out to those who have supported me.”
Of course, it appears that LaBeouf has a very different definition of what it means to be retired. Not only is the actor still as publicly visible as ever, but he’s also still accepting movie roles. The former “Transformers” actor has been cast alongside Bill Murray in “Rock the Kasbah.”