Eminem rarely does interviews but somehow Variety has managed to get Eminem on phone. You can read the conversation below.
Last night’s performance certainly was a surprise — how did it all come together, and why this year?
I kinda figured maybe since I didn’t get a chance to do it at the time, maybe it would be cool. 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.
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.
Were you disappointed that you missed it?
I don’t know that I was disappointed, I was blown back by the fact that I won. I don’t even think I understood back then that you could get an Oscar for a song, and I remember being kinda confused about why I was even up for one, because as a kid with the Oscars, it was like a vacuum.
So what did you end up doing that night?
I think I was just at home with my daughter — and I didn’t watch it, either. At that point in time Hailie had to be at school early in the morning, so [I was sleeping].
Luis Resto, my keyboard player who produces records with me, went up and accepted it — and 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!” 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.
Back to last night, did you enjoy it?
Absolutely. I got to hug Salma Hayek!
Some people wondered if you’ve got another film in the pipeline — do you have any interest in doing more acting?
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.
Did you enjoy doing “8 Mile”?
I did … and I didn’t (laughs). 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. 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.
You just put out an album three weeks ago, but can you say what you’ve got coming next?
I don’t really have anything coming up next, to be honest, just working this album and whatever videos come along next. But we don’t have anything written in stone just yet.
Any new artists you’re particularly impressed with?
Well, we had Young M.A. on the album, and she’s definitely one of the new artists that I’m super excited about — every time she puts something out, I listen. And the guys we have signed to our label, Griselda, that’s exciting. YBN Cordae, he’s dope.
Okay, last question: You’ve gone after President Trump really hard in your lyrics and freestyles and even got interviewed by the Secret Service. Why do you think other major artists aren’t doing the same?
In the hip-hop world, there’s definitely some people that have gone at him. But I kinda feel that I’ve said what I had to say and people know where I stand on it, so … [dead silence, publicist wraps up call].
Check the full interview on VARIETY