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Macaulay Culkin was first choice for Eminem’s ‘Stan’ music video, says Devon Sawa

Over two decades since Devon Sawa appeared in the music video for Eminem’s iconic track ‘Stan’, it has been revealed that the rapper originally wanted Macaulay Culkin to take on the role.

Arriving back in 2000, the music video for the hit track starred Devon Sawa – who is known for roles in Final Destination, Idle Hands, Casper, and Real Detective – and saw him take on the role of an obsessed Eminem fan, who gets increasingly violent towards his girlfriend.

However, according to a new interview by the actor, it seems that Eminem originally had another actor in mind as his first choice: Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin.

“They went out to Macaulay Culkin first,” Sawa explained during a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight. “I think that they wanted him, and he wasn’t available, or didn’t want to do it or whatever.”

He then went on to explain how it was the video’s director Dr. Dre who put his name forward, and recommended him after someone in the crew saw him in Final Destination. “There happened to be somebody in the casting office that knew somebody who was friends with me, and they called me that way… and it ended up working out pretty good,” he said, also going on to say that the moment was “one of the proudest things I’ve been a part of.”

The filming of the music video for ‘Stan’ arrived six years into Culkin’s retirement from acting, following his role in the 1994 film Richie Rich. He wouldn’t make another on-screen cameo until his guest-starring role on the sitcom Will & Grace in 2003 (via Consequence).

Elsewhere in the interview with ET, Sawa looked back at his time working on the ‘Stan’ video, and his personal experience of Dr. Dre’s perfectionist approach. “I’ll never forget, they told me on the day that I was going to lip-sync it. I remember, after the first take I did, Dre running in and being like, ‘It was good, but can you try it with some rhythm this time?’ And I was like, ‘Oh my god.’ And that was kind of how the day went,” he explained.

This isn’t the first time that Sawa has recalled his time working with Eminem on the music video. Back in 2018, the actor recalled how it was “one of the only projects I did that long ago that I still kind of brag about”, and that he felt “just so proud to say I played some small part of it.”

The following year, he also took to social media to show that he continued to hold the title of being the rapper’s biggest stan. Taking to Twitter on the rapper’s – real name Marshall Mathers – birthday, he wrote: “Happy birthday @Eminem. Sincerely yours, Stan,” before ending the message by saying: “Ps. We should be together, too.”

Even over a decade after it was released, the lasting cultural impact of the track is undeniable, and in 2017 it was confirmed that the word ‘Stan’ had been added to the Oxford English Dictionary, as a term referring to an overzealous fan.

Offering this definition of the term in its noun form, it reads: “An overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity – ‘he has millions of Stans who are obsessed with him and call him a rap god.‘”

Its usage as a verb, meanwhile, is explained in this manner: “Be an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity – ‘y’all know I Stan for Katy Perry, so I was excited to see the artwork for her upcoming album.‘”

What’s more, back in 2019 Dido – who lent her vocals to the track as it remixed lyrics from her solo single ‘Thank You’ – confirmed that she did name her son Stan, but insisted it was not due to the hit song.

Inductee Eminem performs on stage during the 37th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Microsoft Theater on November 05, 2022 in Los Angeles, California CREDIT: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

She claimed she loved the name ever since she was young, stating: “When I was a teenager, I was with my mate, I remember sitting on a wall, and they were like, ‘What are you going to call your kid?’ and I was like, ‘Stanley,’” she said.

“Bizarrely, when I met my husband, that was the name that was his favourite for different reasons,” she added.

The legacy of the song continues into 2024 as well, as it was recently reported that Eminem will be co-producing a new documentary, Stans, based on his more-obsessive fans.

Per Variety, Stans will be a “revealing, edgy, and disarmingly personal journey into the world of superfandom, told through the lens of one of the world’s most iconic and enduring artists, Eminem, and the fans that worship him.”

In other news, Eminem recently reignited his feud with Benzino on his new song ‘Doomsday Pt 2’. The track reignites the feud Eminem had with the former publisher of The Source magazine and occasional rapper in the mid-2000s and sees him mock Benzino’s financial status and physical appearance.

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