Eminem Explains His Surprise Oscar Performance & Reveals What He Was Doing The Night He Won Best Original Song In 2003
After Eminem’s surprise performance of Lose Yourself at the Oscars on Sunday night, the rapper gave a rare interview. He explained why he appeared on stage at the Academy Awards 17 years after winning the Oscar for Best Original Song, and he also revealed what he was doing on the night he won the award.
Eminem did not attend the Oscars in 2003 when he was nominated for Best Original Song. And, when Barbra Streisand announced his name, his keyboard player Luis Resto accepted the award on his behalf.
The rapper - whose real name is Marshall Mathers - told Page Six that he was at home with his daughter, and he didn’t watch the awards ceremony.
“At that point in time Hailie had to be at school early in the morning, so [I was sleeping],” explained Mathers. “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.”
Mathers said that he wasn’t disappointed that he missed out on accepting the award from Streisand - which he admits “would have been crazy.” But, he did admit that he was blown away by the fact that he won. He added that he doesn’t think he even understood at the time that you could get an Oscar for a song, and remembers being confused why he was even nominated.
Eminem also shot down the reports from back then that claimed he refused to perform the song at the Oscars because they wanted to censor him. He said that wasn’t the case at all, and the song doesn’t have that many curse words in it.
HIs manager Paul Rosenberg added that the Academy did make an offer for Eminem to perform Lose Yourself in 2003. And, they also discussed having someone else perform the song, but that never got off the ground.
Mathers also explained why he decided to perform the song in 2020, which resulted in a standing ovation from the A-list crowd and became the most talked-about moment from the Oscars on social media.
“I kinda figured maybe since I didn’t get a chance to do it at the time, maybe it would be cool,” said Eminem. “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.”
He says that after he found out that he won, it proved to him that the award was authentic and real because they awarded it to him even though he didn’t show up.
Eminem’s performance was a tightly kept secret, and insiders say that the Dolby Theater was “on lockdown” during rehearsals. He also had the option to cancel if the performance was leaked to the media. The rapper revealed that most of his rehearsals were off-site to help keep everything under wraps.
Eminem says he really enjoyed performing at the Oscars, and the best part of the night was that he “got to hug Salma Hayek.”