Eminem made a surprise appearance at the 92nd annual Academy Awards on Sunday to perform “Lose Yourself,” the same track that earned him an Oscar for Best Original Song in 2003.
This came as many surprise to fans, and on Monday, he interviewed with Variety to explain why he chose to perform that song.
“Back then, I never even thought that I had a chance to win, and we had just performed ‘Lose Yourself’ on the Grammys with the Roots a couple of weeks before the Oscars, so we didn’t think it was a good idea. And also, back at that time, the younger me didn’t really feel like a show like that would understand me,” he said. “But then when I found out I won, ‘That’s crazy!’ That to me shows how authentic and real that award is — when you don’t show up and you still win. That makes it very real to me.”
Eminem also remembered being at home with his daughter Hailie on the night that he won the Oscar. Since his daughter needed to be in school early in the morning, Em says he went to bed, instead of watching the show, and was awoken by his keyboard player and longtime collaborator Luis Resto, who accepted the award in his place.
“I know people were probably like, ‘Who the f— is this guy?’ So he called me, and I remember the phone kept ringing, and I’m like ‘Motherf—, I’m tryin’ to sleep!,'” he recalls. “But [I answered] and he’s like ‘Hey man, you won!’ ‘I did? Sh–! Cool!’ But that was a different time and I was in a different place in my life.”
Eminem went on to explain why the performance was unannounced prior to it happening. “I don’t know, I think it was either [the Oscars’] idea or Paul and [longtime publicist Dennis Dennehy’s] idea before they brought it to me,” the rapper said. “It was presented to me that way and I said, ‘Oh that’s kinda dope, to not even announce it.'”
When asked if Eminem would be down to work on another movie down the line, he responded in the affirmative. “Um… I’m not gonna say I don’t, because if the right script comes along and it’s something that fits with my schedule I might take another dive in it,” he said. He went on to say that he both did and didn’t enjoy working on 8 Mile. “There was a lot of stuff that was not, um… It was a lot of work, and it being my first film I was not really expecting that,” Em said. “And it’s tough when you’ve got to be on someone else’s schedule, with the way that I work. But yeah, I’m certainly glad that I did it, and there were parts that were definitely fun, it was just a lot.”
See Eminem’s full interview here.