It’s easy to look at (former?) actor Shia LeBeouf‘s weird transition from child actor to adult superstar everyone assumed would be “the next Tom Hanks,” to an aspiring performance artist who wears bags on his head, stares at journalists in silence for hours and gives frightening “motivational speeches” in front of a green screen, and assume that we’re watching yet another celebrity slowly break down and lose his sanity under the public’s constant gaze.

It turns out, though, that weird green screen one – which was later turned into a TED Talk parody by the Internet – actually seemed bizarrely similar to a different motivational speech given on camera by widely loved Japanese celebrity and retired tennis player Shuzo Matsuoka.

Matsuoka is actually well known for giving these motivational speeches, which he and the media call “Nekketsu Training,” and at least one of these speeches in particular looks strikingly similar to LeBeouf’s odd rant. It even features a similarly bizarre backdrop, as Matsuoka is portrayed wading around in waist-deep water in the middle of nowhere, as compared to LeBeouf’s green screen.

And LeBeouf here:

Although long retired from tennis, Matsuoka is a beloved “talent” celebrity nowadays, making the rounds primarily as a face in a little box on-screen reacting to people reacting to delicious food, but he’s still occasionally given screen time to share some of his motivational wisdom.

It’s interesting to note that cultural reactions to both motivational speeches were actually kind of similar. LeBeouf’s other bizarreness aside, Westerners seem to be finding his “TED Talk” oddly endearing and inspiring, if a little frightening, while Japan has long loved Matsuoka’s quirky talks.

So, hey Shia! If your new performance art career – full of misses but at least one other pretty decent one – doesn’t work out stateside, we’re pretty sure you could get something going here in Japan!

Source: Yurukuyaru
Screenshots: YouTube 1, 2