We now know why Eminem performed at the Oscars -- sort of
Posted February 11, 2020 9:16 a.m. EST
CNN — If you want Eminem at your function, all you've got to do is ask. Maybe he'll say yes on the second try.
Academy Award winner Marshall Mathers popped up from under Dolby Theater stage on Sunday, capping a montage honoring music in movies. Suddenly, his 2002 hit "Lose Yourself" started to play to the surprise and muted enthusiasm of attendees and viewers at home.
Idina Menzel head-bobbed against her better judgment, but her pained expression told the story. Meanwhile, Kelly Marie Tran, of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" fame, rapped every word.
"Lose Yourself" won Eminem the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2003 -- so why, in 2020, was he back on our screens, rapping about Mom's spaghetti?
Consider the 92nd Academy Awards a do-over for the 2003 ceremony. In an interview with Variety, Eminem said he never expected to win back then, so he didn't go. Plus, he'd performed "Lose Yourself" on the Grammys that year a few weeks earlier.
"And also, back at that time, the younger me didn't really feel like a show like that would understand me," he said. This begs the question -- do the Oscars understand him now?
The way Slim tells it, the Academy had already planned to include his song in the montage, and then asked Eminem if he wanted to perform it live, 17 years later.
He said yes, "because we just put out an album [January's 'Music to be Murdered By'], so we said that maybe that'll make sense with the timing of the new album."
This performance of the hit from his film "8 Mile" featured an onstage orchestra and a string section. He rehearsed about five times off-site to keep it a secret, he said.
His appearance on the telecast naturally fueled rumors that he'd make a return to film. He didn't confirm that to Variety, but he did say he's open to it if the right script comes along.
Ultimately, Slim Shady's redo Oscar outing went well: "I got to hug Salma Hayek!"