Mekhi Phifer on the lasting “impact” of ‘8 Mile’ + surprise at “Lose Yourself” name drop

The movie 8 Mile turned 20 years old back in 2022, and co-star Mekhi Phifer tells ABC Audio he still can’t get over that.

“It’s hard to believe that it’s been this long,” the star of the new thriller Lights Out says.

“When you start out with these projects, you never know how impactful it’s going to be, if it’s going to last or stand the test of time.” Calling it a “classic,” Mekhi now says, “I can’t imagine a world where I didn’t do 8 Mile, where initially I was going to turn it down.”

Mekhi said he had thought the project was “a joke,” explaining, “even though I loved Eminem‘s music and everything … I thought that Hollywood or the powers that be was just riding off his success, and not that he was a very passionate artist, which I found out once we got together.”

Of course, one of the most enduring legacies of the Curtis Hanson-directed film is “Lose Yourself,” Em’s Oscar-winning song.

Phifer still can’t get over the fact that he’s personally name-dropped in the track. “Oh my God. I mean — nobody could write that script,” the actor says with a laugh.

“We were shooting late night in Detroit. It was maybe, I don’t know, 2 in the morning. And [Eminem] was like, ‘Yo, man, I put your name in the song … come listen to it."”

Mekhi recalls with a laugh, “I didn’t ask for anything. Obviously, you can’t ask Eminem to do anything … You know, though, he’s his own man. So for him to do that, it was, it was very cool.” 

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