In hindsight, everyone thinks this movie was an easy decision, but the studio and Jimmy Iovine were wondering if this could hurt the Eminem brand. Mariah Carey’s Glitter had just tanked and the last time Universal had worked with a rapper was on Cool As Ice with Vanilla Ice. Mekhi, you initially passed on the movie. Why?
Phifer: I was due to start ER and 9/11 had just happened. They was like, “Okay, we want you to fly to Detroit.” It was like, September 13. “I ain’t getting on no plane! I’m staying here and I’m gonna be a doctor, Goddamn it!” I hadn’t read the script yet, and they were so hush-hush about the script that I had to sit and read it in [director] Curtis [Hanson’s] office because they weren’t releasing it. But when I read it, I thought, Oh, this is kinda slick! They had me go to Detroit to see if me and Em was going to have chemistry…This cat became my man so fast that I was like, “This is gonna be dope.” And when I met all the rest of the guys, I was all in. It was the best decision I ever made.
Omar Benson Miller (Sol George): 8 Mile is so revered, it’s like everywhere I go, somebody’s talking about it. Yesterday, me and Cheddar were walking down the street, heads down, and some kid walked up to us from behind and was like, “Anything goes when it comes to hoes/I’m the kingpin when it comes to flows…”
Evan Jones (Cheddar Bob): [Laughs] Yeah, who wrote that rap?
Eminem: That shit should’ve been a single. “Ten freaky girls! Ten! Ten!”
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