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:
“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.)