By Naina Bajekal
December 23, 2014

A 25-year-old British man awoke after a car crash believing he was Hollywood actor Matthew McConaughey and speaking fluent French, despite only having a very basic grasp from school.

Rory Curtis, a former semi-professional soccer player, suffered a severe brain injury after an accident in August 2012. He was in an induced coma for six days while doctors tried to save his life. When he woke up, he began speaking to nurses in French. Curtis told the Daily Mail: “I can’t explain how it happened. It’s incredible really…I was just casually chatting away about how I was feeling in this perfect French accent.”

He added: “I wasn’t really that good at it at school, so I don’t how my brain has managed to do what is has. I don’t know how I know it — I just do.”

“Also, in my head I thought I was Matthew McConaughey… At times I was in hospital thinking, ‘I can’t wait to get out of here and back to filming movies.'”

Thanks to an experimental drug, Curtis has now recovered and has retrained as a barber. But while he now knows he isn’t a famous Hollywood actor, he is still able to speak perfect French more than two years later.

[Daily Mail]

Write to Naina Bajekal at naina.bajekal@time.com.

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