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Seth Rogen Details ‘8 Mile’ Rapper Audition, One of the ‘Weirdest’ Moments of His Career

Rogen's "8 Mile" audition story involves Jason Segel and lots of breaking character.

Seth Rogen, Eminem in "8 Mile"

Seth Rogen, Eminem in “8 Mile”

Michael Buckner/Variety and Everett Collection

Seth Rogen reveals in his new book “Yearbook” (via Insider) that his decision to go out for a supporting role in Eminem’s autobiographical drama “8 Mile” resulted in “by far the weirdest audition I ever did.” The comedian auditioned for the role of Cheddar, the friend of Eminem’s Rabbit. According to Rogen, the “8 Mile” casting director was not comfortable reading lines with the auditioning actor because of how “rappery” the dialogue was. The production asked each actor to bring someone to the audition with them to read lines, so Rogen brought his friend and “Freaks & Geeks” co-star Jason Segel, who also happened to be auditioning for the role of Cheddar.

“We asked our agents if our auditions could be scheduled one right after the other, so that one of us could audition for Cheddar, with the other reading the Rabbit part, and then we’d switch,” Rogen said. “We had a sleepover at my apartment the night before the auditions so we could rehearse and then carpooled to the audition together.”

It turns out attempting to play a Detroit rapper did not fit Rogen like a glove. As the actor explained, “Auditioning is embarrassing in the best of times. Add the fact that one of my best friends is watching me do it and that we’re both reading for rappers from Detroit, which we could not have been less right for.”

Rogen was the first to read for the part of Cheddar, with Segel reading Rabbit’s lines off camera. Rogen kept breaking character because the lines that Segel was required to say cracked him up. Take this Rabbit line for example: “Yo, yo, mothafucka! It’s Chedda! What up, bitch!” Rogen had to respond as Cheddar, “Yo, yo, Rabbit! You gotta record your shit at Paisley Park, yo!”

“I started laughing hysterically,” Rogen said. “And so did Jason. We literally couldn’t make it through the auditions. As soon as one of us started the scene, the other would lose it…It was so silly, we couldn’t finish. We just excused ourselves and saw ourselves out, tears streaming down our faces.”

Neither actor landed the part of Cheddar, which was played in the movie by Evan Jones. “8 Mile” opened in theaters in 2002, and by then Rogen had only filmed a small role in “Donnie Darko.” Rogen’s film career would take off three years later with “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.”

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