I’ve spent a lot of time in hotels. If I had to add it up, I’d say roughly 5 years of my life has been spent in hotels. Having realized that, it got me thinking of all the stuff that has gone down in those hotel rooms. Here are two little stories for you that you might find interesting.
When I was 18 I shot my first real deal movie called “Whiteboys”. We filmed on location in Chicago and Iowa. The bulk of the movie took place in Iowa so that’s where I spent the majority of my time. I can’t remember the name of the hotel, but it was somewhere in downtown Davenport. I was freestyling a lot back then, also the character I was playing Trevor, had to spit a rhyme in the movie as well.
There is a scene in the end of the film where the main character flip is running through a maze in a cornfield, getting confronted by various people. Two of those people were Stic.Man and M1 of the hip-hop group Dead Prez. So they had to kick it in Davenport for a few days while they shot their scenes.
I found out they were Vegan and told them I had some good food back in my suite. I had been in Davenport for a couple weeks at this point and had already hit up the only health-food store a million times, besides that, it was a strictly meat and milk town. I also had a nice stash of weed (back when I thought it was a good thing).
So me, Stic.Man and M1 rolled back to my room and rolled up a blunt and freestyled. It was one of the best cyphers I’ve ever been a part of. Then I went into my kitchen and made us all Tofurkey sandwiches with this amazing Dijon mustard, I say amazing because it cost like 1o$ and at the time I remembered thinking,”wow, I’ve made it, I’m buying 10$ organic mustard”.
2 years later in 2000 they dropped their first record “Let’s Get Free”. A classic, that I still listen to… especially when I’m going over plans for overthrowing our government.
On September 10th 2001 I took a morning flight from Newark NJ to Detroit Michigan. I got to my hotel room in the late afternoon and immediately started obsessively going over my lines.
I had a screen test the next morning for the movie “8 Mile”.
I couldn’t sleep well that night because of nerves and was up at 6 am, which was fine anyway because my screen test was starting at 8.
I took the elevator up to the floor the test was on. The production had rented a massive suite in the same hotel I was staying with the other actors to do the screen test in.
I walked in the room and was greeted by one of my favorite casting directors Mali Finn (RIP) who brought me to Curtis Hanson (the director) who introduced me to Marshall Mathers (Eminem).
Marshall and I started talking about the scene and how he hadn’t done anything like this before. Then somebody’s assistant walked in the room and told us all to turn on the news. We did.
Marshall Mathers and I stood next to each other and watched the first plane fly into the world trade center together. We all couldn’t believe it. We shook it off as best we could, thinking it was just a terrible accident.
Me and Eminem did our scenes together. It went well.
Then the next thing I knew the news was back on and all hell broke loose.
The rest of that day was spent doing what I’m sure most of you did. Trying to get through to friends and family on the phone, panic, cry, get angry, confused, etc.
A few days later a teamster drove me and Eugene Byrd back to NYC after being stuck in Detroit for awhile.
Eugene got the part.