8 Mile actor who portrayed Proof dishes behind-the-scenes scoop from the movie set – tune in for juicy tales!

Did you know that Mekhi Phifer almost turned down the role of Future in “8 Mile”?

Despite the character being modeled after the late rapper Proof, who only had a brief cameo in the film, Phifer was hesitant to take on the hip-hop movie project. Nonetheless, he ultimately accepted the offer and delivered a memorable performance as B-Rabbit’s best friend and rap battle host.

In a recent interview on the Cruz Show, Mekhi Phifer opened up about his experience filming “8 Mile”. While he recalled the vibrant atmosphere on set, the actor was tight-lipped when it came to sharing any juicy, behind-the-scenes stories. Though pressed for untold tales, Phifer opted to keep them shrouded in secrecy.

When we did “8 Mile” that was back in 2001, we shot it when we shot it, it was released in 2002. When we shot it, we were all young single men, Eminem was at the height of his career, we were shooting in Detroit, in his hometown. He was the biggest rapper at that time. Period. And we had fun in Detroit. I’m not going into detail. I don’t need to. But the thing is, we had a great time. The camaraderie was real.

I’ll give you a quick story. I initially turned down “8 Mile”. Because my agency man called me, and said, “Look, Curtis Hanson is directing this movie “8 Mile”. I said, “Oh, I love Curtis Hanson”. He’s done “L.A. Confidential”, “Wonder Boys”, excellent director. And he said, “Yes, It’s a movie with Eminem”. I said, “Oh, come on man, now you playing games”. Look, I loved his music but I’d never seen him act before. I think all I saw was “The Wash” where he had a quick cameo. Tyhat doesn’t say about anything. And I was due to start “ER” in September of 2001 and I was looking forward to playing a doctor. They would not release the script. It was hush-hush. So my agent convinced me, “Please, just go to Curtis’ office and read the script”. I read the script, loved it. I was like, “Wow, this is actually really freaking good”. Then they flew me to Detroit. I hang out with Eminem for a few days and then we just hit it off, we were like peas in a pod. I was a fan of his too. I saw how serious he was about really putting together something really nice. And our camaraderie because I’m basically loosely playing Proof. That’s why I had those crazy dreads because Proof, rest in peace, when he was hosting those battles in 1995, he had those dreads. We tried to stay as close as we could. They offered me the role. “ER” said, do the movie and then come and join our cast when you finish the movie. I went down and we had a month of rehearsal to get Eminem all dialled in. So, by the time we started shooting, I knew the whole script, there was nothing really to study. So, it was party time. And we were in our 20s, forget it… It was going down!

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