8 Mile

Interviewed by Alec Cawthorne

Born in Kansas City in the early 70s, Eminem has managed to simultaneously offend and entertain millions since releasing his first album, The Slim Shady LP, in 1999. Now the world's best-known rap star is making his movie debut in a thinly-disguised biopic of his own Detroit life...

Why did you decide to do this film?

I always felt that if I was going to do a movie, I wanted it to be authentic. I don't read much, but as soon as I got this script and started reading a few pages, I went: "This is something I want to do."

What's 8 Mile?

8 Mile is basically the borderline for Detroit and especially where I was growing up, it was the colour line. It was a median that separated black from white. It wasn't necessarily economic. It wasn't rich or poor on either side. Really both sides had the same income but when I was coming up, it was literally black on one side and white on the other side and me growing up on both sides. It was interesting to see. This movie literally took me back to that time and to that place, stripped me of all ego, before I was Eminem, before I was anybody.

What's the message of the film?

The positive aspect of the movie is that no matter where you come from, you can break out of that. If your mentality is right, if your drive is right, you can break out of that cycle. The whole point of the movie is that it doesn't matter where you come from, you can break out of that.