Eminem waited 17 years to perform at the Oscars because the “younger him” didn’t feel a show like that would “understand” him.
The 47-year-old rapper finally performed as a surprise act at the ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday (09.02.20), after turning down the Academy’s offer to perform and receive the Best Song Oscar from Barbra Streisand in 2003 for ‘Lose Yourself’ from ‘8 Mile’.
And the ‘Stan’ hitmaker has admitted the reason why he didn’t attend back then was, because he never imagined he would end up winning the prize and he had already performed at the Grammys that year.
However, after he found out he won, Eminem realised that the Oscars are “authentic”.
He admitted: “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.”
The ‘Rap God’ star also revealed how they managed to keep his performance top secret.
He told Variety: “We flew in [to Los Angeles] last week, so we probably have four or five rehearsals just to make sure we got everything right. Most of the rehearsals were offsite, not in [the Dolby Theater], just trying to keep it secret.”
And on whose idea it was to have him as a surprise act, he added: “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.
“It was presented to me that way and I said, “Oh that’s kinda dope, to not even announce it.”