In January 2014, Shia LaBeouf announced on Twitter announced that he was "retiring from all public life." But, as many people predicted, that statement turned out to be very untrue, since LaBeouf showed up at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival on Feb. 9 to promote his movie "Nymphomaniac," and he proceeded to pull a few bizarre antics that have movie fans all over the Internet disgusted with him or concerned about LaBeouf's mental health.
First, he walked out of a Berlin Festival press conference for "Nymphomaniac" when he was asked about the explicit sex scenes in the movie. According to Variety, LaBeouf replied to the question with this strange comment (a quote from Eric Cantona) before walking out of the press conference: “When seagulls follow the trawler it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea." LaBeouf had only answered that one question beofre storming out of the press conference.
Then, later that evening, LaBeouf (who is 27) walked the red carpet for the Berlin Film Festival premiere of "Nymphomaniac," while wearing a paper bag over his head that said, "I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE." He posted the same statement on his Twitter account.
LaBeouf, who has been arrested several times for alcohol-related crimes, is rumored to have a drug problem, according to several tabloids. LaBeouf has said in interviews that his family (especially his father) has a history of drug abuse, but LaBeouf has not publicly admitted to being addicted to any illegal drugs. However, he has admitted in interviews that he has an alcohol problem that he has tried to control.
Meanwhile, it was announced in December 2013 that "Nymphomaniac" director Lars von Trier would not be doing interviews to promote the movie, since (according to the movie's publicists), he still feels he was misunderstood and unfairly persecuted by the media over his controversial comments while he was promoting his 2011 movie "Melancholia" at the Cannes Film Festival that year.
During a "Melancholia" press conference at the festival, von Trier said: "For a long time I thought I was a Jew and I was happy to be a Jew. Then I met Susanne Bier [who is Jewish] and I wasn’t so happy. But then I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family were German. And that also gave me some pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler…I sympathize with him a bit ...
"I don’t mean I’m in favor of World War II and I’m not against Jews, not even Susanne Bier. In fact I’m very much in favor of them. All Jews. Well, Israel is a pain in the ass but…Now how can I get out of this sentence? Ok. I’m a Nazi.”
His comments sparked outrage, and it led to the Cannes Film Festival banning him. It's not clear if the ban was for life, but von Trier has not been invited back to the festival, even though he made a public apology and said that his Hitler/Nazi comments were said in a joking manner that was misconstrued.
Unlike LaBeouf, von Trier is sticking to his word about not doing interviews for "Nymphomaniac," whose U.S./Canadian cinema release date is March 21, 2014. "Nymphomaniac" premieres on demand on March 6, 2014.
Meanwhile, LaBeouf's antics at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival have angered many movie fans who are calling LaBeouf an egotistical hypocrite who needs to "go away" and retire like he said he would. This fake "retirement" has seems to have angered more people than LaBaouf's admitted plagiarism and his ongoing pattern of getting into physical fights in public.
A small minority of people have expressed sympathy for LaBeouf and are speculating that he needs rehab or therapy to deal with what appears to be some major personal problems. An even smaller minority of people think that LaBeouf is doing calculated "performance art" desgned to make people think he is crazy, and he is having the last laugh. Whether the "craziness" is real or fake, the majority of people seem to be fed up with LaBeouf and his desperate publicity stunts.
There are lots of attention-seeking celebrities, but what seems to annoy people the most about LaBeouf is his statement that he was "retiring from all public life" and yet he still does things that he knows will put him in the public eye and generate headlines.
LaBeouf is not a comedian. He comes across as someone who wants to be taken seriously, and many people commenting on his antics say that LaBeouf has lost a lot of credibility with movie fans and in the entertainment industry.
Now that LaBeouf is done with the blockbuster "Transformers" series, and most of his recent movies are little-seen independent films, many people believe that whether he wants it or not, LaBeouf is headed for a ruined career, and he will fade into obscurity.
Here is a sampling of Internet comments about LaBeouf and his antics at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival:
"A talentless schmuck with zero charisma..The moron even ruined the Wall Street Money Never Sleeps POS..The paper bag is perfect..Anyone who has seen this no-talent putz try to act, agrees that he couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag..Imbecile !"
"Does anyone remember the unknown comic who would wear a paperbag on his head and do his show. this guy you take away the tranformers and holes and he would be working at a 7-eleven!"
"An unremarkable actor just trying to make himself relevant. He wants to be ignored? Fine, Shia who?"
"This paper bag on the head was a bit stolen from the unknown comic."
"Keeps him in the news. I just hope the bizarre behavior is all calculated and that he is not using drugs. I do honestly mean that."
"Has anybody done this kid the favor of telling him that he is SO lucky to even be working in the entertainment industry?"
"Nope, he’s an arrogant little twerp who probably feels he’s entitled."
"Hollywood did its best to turn this guy into a star five years ago, but somehow a lack of looks, personality and talent did him in. That said, I hope he gets help for his obvious drug/mental problems."
"Sounds like Shia has some Metal issues. If he does not want to be in the public eye anymore, then why is he still showing up. Dude, if you want a private life, then get one and move on."
"I hope Shia gets it together. He really IS a good actor and I enjoy watching most of his films (sorry Transformers 2). Noticed him for the first time in Constantine. Loved him in Lawless. Thought he would have made a GREAT choice to take over Indiana Jones. I can imagine that the price they pay for being an actor these days is pretty high. Hard to know if you have any real friends and don't doubt all the family asking for money. If I were his friend, I would have been the first to say Don't wear the paper bag!"
"Its all about the headlines folks. Shia created 'news' about this movie. Easily worth millions in advertising etc... Don't be so easily fooled...."
"Hmmmm I seem to remember there was a comedian who used to wear a paper bag on his head. Is Shia trying to be funny? If so, it isn't working, no one gets the joke. Shia doesn't play well with others."
"Shia LaBeouf is having my favourite former child star meltdown ever."
"I feel like Shia LaBeouf is going through something."
"It’s been strange watching Shia LaBeouf come from nowhere to take his place as one of the world’s leading a**holes."
"SHIA LABEOUF HAS GONE MAD."