Eminem‘s surprise performance of “Lose Yourself” at the 2020 Oscars was one of the biggest highlights of the night. He rose to the stage after a montage celebrating the sound editing/mixing award, and burst into the 8 Mile tune that won him a Best Original Song Oscar in 2003. At the time, he was back at home in Detroit and wasn’t there to accept the award or perform the song. The 47-year-old explained to our sister site Variety why he decided to do it 17 years later.
“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,” Eminem — real name Marshall Mathers — revealed in a Feb. 10 phone interview.
When asked if he enjoyed his 2020 Oscars night on Feb. 9, Em said, “Absolutely. I got to hug Salma Hayek!” That would definitely be on anyone’s bucket list. The stunning 52-year-old actress looked like a Greek goddess in a billowing white asymmetrical Gucci gown with one puffy sleeve. She wore her hair up and had a Boucheron Feuilles de Laurier necklace wrapped around her bun, in one of the best looks of the night.
Marshall also told the publication where he was the night he won his trophy. When a shocked Barbra Streisand announced his name as the winner in 2003, co-writer Luis Resto headed to the stage to accept the Oscar. “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],” Marshall revealed. “So he called me, and I remember the phone kept ringing, and I’m like “Motherf**ker, I’m tryin’ to sleep!” But [I answered] and he’s like ‘Hey man, you won!’ ‘I did? Sh*t! Cool!’ But that was a different time and I was in a different place in my life.”
— Marshall Mathers (@Eminem) February 10, 2020
Marshall explained that he was approached by the Oscars producers to perform in 2020, as his scenes from 8 Mile were going to be in the montage. “I think that’s pretty much how it went. And it was cool because we just put out an album, so we said maybe that’ll make sense with the timing of the new album.” He also loved that his performance was going to be kept a secret until he hit the stage. “It was presented to me that way and I said, ‘Oh that’s kinda dope, to not even announce it,'” he continued.
Good morning to Kelly Marie Tran vibing to Eminem and no one else pic.twitter.com/KT81ydwsR2
— Emmett Watkins Jr. in Blackboy: A Big Adventure (@Ejsponge61) February 10, 2020
It was definitely a hit, as cutaways to the audience showed the likes of Gal Gadot, Brie Larson, Janelle Monae, and Best Cinemtography Oscar winner Roger Deakins, jamming out to his performance. Kelly Marie Tran enjoyed it so much that she was seen singing along to the chorus, knowing all the words to the song. It’s now become a popular GIF.