Eminem Sets First Major Acting Role in Nearly 20 Years

Nearly two decades after he earned his last acting credit, Eminem is set to make his return to the silver screen. On Tuesday, 50 Cent announced that The Real Slim Shady will star in his upcoming Starz drama series Black Mafia Family. The series, which is already in production, is based out of Detroit, Michigan, Eminem's hometown.

In confirming Eminem's casting, 50 Cent teased he was "bringing the big dogs out," as he "couldn't do a show based in Detroit without incorporating the legend." Eminem will star as White Boy Rick, real name Rick Wershe Jr., the real-life teenage FBI informant who infiltrated a Detroit gang. He was dumped by the FBI by the age of 17, however, and arrested and sentenced to life in prison for cocaine possession. In June 2020, he was paroled and released at the age of 50. Wershe, who has since become an iconic character in the hip-hop world, has been the center of numerous titles, including the 2017 documentary White Boy, which is available for streaming on Netflix. The following year, a scripted film titled White Boy Rick was released.

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According to The Wrap, which separately confirmed the casting, Eminem will appear in a single episode of the series, which is inspired by the real-life story of brothers Demetrius Flenory and Terry Flenory. During the late '80s, the two brothers rose from the decaying streets of southwest Detroit "and gave birth to one of the most influential crime families in this country." Their "vision beyond the drug trade and into the world of Hip Hop would render the brothers iconic on a global level," and their "unwavering belief in family loyalty would be the cornerstone of their partnership and the crux of their eventual estrangement." According to Starz, the series is "a story about love, family, and capitalism in the pursuit of the American dream."

Along with Eminem, Black Mafia Family is set to star Briana White as Lucille, the strong-willed, dignified mother of the Flenory brothers. Ajiona Alexus will portray Kato, the fierce and ambitious corner girl in Meech and Terry's crew. Eric Kofi-Abrefa will take on the role of Lamar, with Myles Truitt starring as B-Mickie, the third OG in Meech and Terry's drug crew. Additional cast members include Russell Hornsby and Steve Harris as series regulars and Arkeisha "Kash Doll" Knight and Wood Harris, who recur. In a statement confirming Eminem's casting, 50 Cent said, "he is honored and appreciative of my good friend Em for supporting my new show BMF. We couldn't do a show based in Detroit without incorporating the legend that is Eminem."

The upcoming role will mark a departure from the musician's past screen appearances and will be Eminem's first acting role since he took on the leading role of Jimmy "B-Rabbit" Smith Jr. in 8 Mile back in 2002. While the rapper has numerous credits to his name, he has almost exclusively appeared as himself. Eminem has also appeared as himself for cameos in Entourage, The Interview, and Funny People.

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Black Mafia Family was given an eight-episode, straight-to-series order back in April 2020. The series is executive produced by 50 Cent alongside Randy Huggins, who also writes. Black Mafia Family premieres on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. ET on Starz.