I caught the end of 8 Mile the other night. Despite the fact that it was on Vice well after the sun had set, it was edited so all the good swears were left out. But even the clean version still holds up as a rewatchable movie nearly two decades later, mostly because Eminem is good. So why isn't he still acting?
In 2009 he appeared as himself in Funny People and yelled at Ray Romano (NSFW language.) In 2010 he appeared on Entourage as himself. He had a 15-second cameo where he punched Vincent Chase in the face. Oddly satisfying!
His final role (as of now) was in The Interview. Remember The Interview? The Seth Rogen-James Franco movie that didn't make it to theaters because it upset North Korea? Yeah, Eminem was in that and he played an outed version of Eminem.
So, maybe Marshall Mathers is only meant to play a white rapper from Detroit, but there have to be other movies and television shows where we could have utilized Eminem. He certainly would have made more sense in Game of Thrones than Ed Sheeran. Or couldn't Quentin Tarantino have fit him somewhere in Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood? You're telling me Eminem couldn't have played someone from the Manson family? We couldn't have fit Slim Shady into the Top Gun sequel? Really?
Just look at all the movies that Evan Jones (Cheddar Bob) has been in since 8 Mile. I'm certain Eminem could have played Python on CSI: Cyber. Or guest starred on House like Dave Matthews did. Jones was even on a show called Detroit 1-8-7. How did Eminem not show up there? Or on a Law & Order? The original series didn't go off the air until 2010.
The most disappointing part of this is that it's not like people didn't try. He was originally considered for the lead role in Elysium, but apparently didn't want to leave Detroit so the movie was rewritten for Matt Damon. Having seen Elysium, Neill Blomkamp should have stuck with Em. The closest Blomkamp came was working with Die Antwoord in Chappie. Imagine being able to tell your date when Eminem came on the screen in Elysium. Wouldn't that have been awesome?
Then in 2010 Eminem was attached to Southpaw, but eventually dropped out. They were even going to film in Detroit! It seems the common thread here is Eminem probably doesn't want to act, which is a shame. It's also what makes 8 Mile so incredible. They were able to make an entire movie starring Eminem where he was in every single scene and they got him to keep showing up to film. And it was good.
8 Mile is officially a sports movie in the way that Pitch Perfect is a sports movie. It's like if Rudy's biggest obstacle was his mom's spaghetti. 8 Mile will deservedly live on forever, but eventually, we as a society, will have to explain why we didn't force Eminem to appear in more movies.
The thing is, he's only 49-years-old. He just released an album. If you're not writing a pandemic battle rap movie with Eminem in mind right now, why are you even working in Hollywood? He can't say he's going on tour any time soon. You can time the release to coincide with the 20th anniversary of 8 Mile. He can record an original song for the soundtrack like Will Smith would, except with some cussing. Everyone will love it. I know Em said goodbye to Hollywood, but you can do it. You just have to...