Shia LaBeouf Copies Eric Cantona's 'Seagulls' Line to Exit Press Conference

Mark Patterson@@MarkPattersonBRUK Staff WriterFebruary 10, 2014

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Hollywood actor Shia LaBeouf has walked out of a news conference in Berlin promoting his latest film, Nymphomaniac, using exactly the same line as Eric Cantona of Manchester United did in 1995.

LaBeouf, according to the BBC, was responding to questions about the film's sex scenes when he said:

"When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea."

Of course, for football fans that line resonates as one of the most memorable lines ever heard. Cantona was speaking after it was announced that he would be serving 120 hours of community service after jumping into the crowd at Selhurst Park and kung-fu kicking a fan who had abused him. It was all he said before leaving the conference.

People spent years wondering what Cantona's motivation was for the cryptic line. In 2003, the BBC reported that it was not quite as deep and meaningful as the enigmatic Frenchman made it sound:

Many believed it was the work of a little known French philosopher; others thought that Cantona had shown himself as a deep and enigmatic thinker.

But Michael Kelly, the former head of security at Manchester United has revealed in his book that the quotation had been assembled by a number of people including Cantona in a London hotel room.

Mr Kelly himself was asked by Cantona and his agent for another word for fishing boat—hence trawler.

He was also asked what small fish were called. His response was 'sardines.'

Whether LaBeouf was aware of the background is not known right now—although clearly his exit owed everything to the Cantona story—if you compare the clips, you'll see that he even pauses for a sip of water at the same time as the Manchester United player.

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It wasn't LaBeouf's only stunt either—he later appeared on the red carpet with a paper bag on his head saying: "I am not famous anymore."

Joel Ryan/Associated Press

Which, judging by the coverage of this incident, we'd have to say is not true.