As media conferences go, it was one of Hollywood's best.
Shia LaBeouf walked out. Uma Thurman and Christian Slater were left to make sardine jokes. And film director Lars Von Trier was a no-show. And that was before LaBeouf turned up on the red carpet at the film's premiere wearing a paper bag on his head, on which he had written: "I am not famous any more."
The quote is from LaBeouf's Twitter account. He has posted it on several occasions, along with remarks suggesting he has been unhappy with his high profile life and will be "retiring from all public life".
Ticket to the saucy Swedish film Nymphomaniac, anyone?
Nymphomaniac, directed by Trier and starring LaBeouf and Thurman, has created headlines because of its steamy sex scenes.
But that topic proved to be a red-button for LaBeouf who, when asked about it, got up and walked out of a press conference at the Berlinale International Film Festival.
On his way out the door, he offered the media a parting quote from French footballer Eric Cantona: "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea."
Cantona said the line in 1995 after an avalanche of media criticism following an incident in which he kicked a fan.
The film's director, Lars von Trier, was a no-show at the press conference - no surprise there, given his remarks at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009 that he "understood" German dictator Adolf Hitler.
But when von Trier did surface at a photo call to promote Nymphomaniac, he was wearing a T-shirt bearing the words "persona non grata", no doubt a reference to the fallout from the Cannes scandal.
When Thurman and Slater fronted the press later, they tried to make light of LaBeouf's walkout by saying the film contained "a lot of sardines."
LaBeouf's relationship with the media has been strained in the wake of several run-ins with the law in the US, and the fallout after he was accused of plagiarising a comic book for his 2013 short film HowardCantour.com.
LaBeouf apologized for the plagiarism on his Twitter account, but his apology then provoked its own accusation of plagiarism, as it appeared to have been lifted from an earlier, unrelated posting on Yahoo.
- Sydney Morning Herald
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