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Rapper Eminem experimented with the world of cinema after doing the hit movie 8 Mile.

But because of the role he was playing, the megastar had to regain his confidence to become the rapper many knew him as.

Eminem felt he had to humble himself for ‘8 Mile’

Eminem performing on stage.
Eminem | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

8 Mile was a drama directed by filmmaker Curtis Hanson. It focused on an up-and-coming rapper overcoming obstacles to succeed in the music industry and was loosely based on Eminem’s life. At the time, Eminem didn’t want to focus on the potential racial themes of the film. 8 Mile wasn’t supposed to just be a story of a white rapper. He wanted it to be something any artist can identify with.

“I wanted to make a movie that concentrated on the struggle, not just of me being a white rapper,” Eminem once said to Spin. “But the struggle that rappers go through–period. I kinda felt like I don’t want to be Elvis; I don’t want to be like, ‘Oh, my life, woe is me’ So we made a movie that took bits and pieces of my life, but it could be anybody, and anybody can relate to it.”

The “Lose Yourself” artist didn’t think he’d have a difficult time adapting to the world of film at first. He thought all it took was some concentration on his part to nail the movie. But soon he realized that acting in a movie might have taken some getting used to.

“When we sat down for the first rehearsals,” he said. “I thought I knew what I was doing. But I really had to train myself.”

Eminem had to regain his confidence after doing ‘8 Mile’

8 Mile was an especially significant film for Eminem due to the subject matter and the time period it was set in. Hanson deliberately set the film in the early 90s before the deaths of Biggie Smalls and Tupac.

“We were trying to tell a story about the fans of hip-hop,” Hanson said. “The power, the meaning that it has in their lives, but also the dream that success in hip-hop represents. In another era, it could have been basketball or boxing.”

The era took the multi-platinum artist back to simpler times before he became one of the biggest stars on the planet. But reverting back to his less successful and hungrier state meant becoming Eminem again would take some time.

“It reminds me of me before ‘Eminem,’ before I started making a name,” he said about his 8 Mile experience. “I had to strip myself of all ego and really be me before I made it. Yo, it was a trip! I was recording The Eminem Show, and I put it on hold for three or four months and did the songs for the movie. When I was done, it took me a few weeks to get my ego back, to get my confidence back, and to be Eminem again.”

Eminem felt like he needed ‘8 Mile’ to find inspiration


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Eminem had a high opinion of the 2002 feature as soon as he read the script. The Guinness Worlds Record-holder found himself motivated by the film in a way he hadn’t been for a long time.

“I needed that movie,” he once said on Beats 1 Radio (via HipHop DX). “That movie gave a little different, a slight edge of inspiration that I don’t think I had at that particular time. It was good because doing that movie put me right back in certain elements. It made me for some reason feel hungry again, just the whole Battle Rap scene, the whole everything.”