Mekhi Phifer starred in “8 Mile” as Future, B-Rabbit’s best friend and the rap battle host. Is character was obviously modelled by Proof, who only showed in a cameo in the movie. But Mekhi almost declined an offer when he heard about the hip hop movie project.
The actor told that much during his interview on the Cruz Show. However, Mekhi started by remembering the atmosphere on the set. Of course, he was asked about some untold stories, but he did not want to go into much detail preferring for them to be left untold:
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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