Eminem already made the transition from music to film with his 2002 hit 8 miles. Subsequently, the actor was offered a few roles in the film industry before deciding to focus solely on music.
However, there was one movie that Eminem allegedly actively pursued. But he was passed over for another actor.
What Eminem didn’t like about acting
8 miles received widespread critical acclaim upon its first theatrical release. Some critics pointed to Eminem’s performance in the film as one of the film’s strengths. As natural as it may have seemed to some on camera, however, for Eminem, the transition was anything but.
His contemporary Ice Cube was another iconic rapper who went on to a successful career in the film industry. But while for Ice Cube this transition was easy, it was the opposite for the “Lose Yourself” hitmaker.
“I think I heard [Cube] say this once, only if you can rap and you can play. Like if you could play in front of the camera to sing and things like that and videos, that should be a pretty natural transition… But I would say that’s a whole other world,” Eminem once said. Rapfix live from MTV (via BET).
Eminem would go on to describe some of the difficulties of filming 8 miles.
“It’s a whole other thing because you may be used to acting on camera and you may be used to doing certain things and videos and things like that,” he continued. “But it’s a whole different ball game when the music is off and you have lines you have to say and you have things you have to remember like the lines and remember and try to be natural and ‘What am I going to do when I say this line?’ and ‘How can I?’ It’s different.”
Eminem almost acted in the movie “Jumper” in 2008
Despite Eminem’s feelings towards acting, there were a few movies he considered starring in. The 2008 movie Jumper was a sci-fi movie that followed two young individuals with the ability to teleport. star wars actor Hayden Christensen eventually ended up with the lead role. But at the time, the film’s director, Doug Liman, claimed that Eminem was interested in the role of Christensen.
Liman first cast young actor Tom Sturridge as the star. But Sturridge was considered too young, and the studio insisted on casting an older, better-known actor for the role. Finally, the rap megastar was mentioned.
“We’ve had conversations with Eminem,” Liman confirmed in a 2008 interview with MTV News.
Liman was convinced he could even rewrite the role with Eminem in mind.
“[The idea to meet with the rapper] kind of came from the producer and [Eminem’s] director,” he said. “If I’ve proven anything to myself, it’s that I can adapt a role to an actor. … [I could] develop the role with [someone like Eminem] and make it extremely specific for them. So as long as the person has acting chops, I’m open to talking to almost anyone for almost any role.
But in the end, he just felt that the star wars alum was a better fit with his vision and was determined to cast him.
“By then I had already met Hayden and fell in love with Hayden,” he recalled. “It was one of those things where the studio, all things being equal, would rather put a bigger name in the movie. [and wanted Eminem]. At one point, I just put my foot down and said, “I love Hayden.”
Eminem thought acting was only fun when you did small roles
Although Eminem hasn’t acted in a movie since 8 miles, he had a few small roles over the years. He made cameos in movies like funny people and The interview. As most know, he even had a small role in an episode of 50 Cent’s. BMF. In a 2015 Twitter Q&A where he promoted the boxing movie left-handed, Eminem shared that he enjoys doing small roles. But he hasn’t ruled out one day doing a lead role again.
“Maybe I’m a semi-actor? It’s fun for small roles but my real passion is music. So we’ll see,” he wrote.
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