When Eminem dropped “Stan” in 2000 — the third single off his Diamond-certified “Marshall Mathers” LP — no one had any idea that the song would go on to change the world of music and pop culture forever.
The intense track — a first-person account of an obsessed fan of the rapper’s, who emulates his looks and lifestyle in an attempt to impress Eminem from afar — plays out in increasingly horrifying instalments, as “Stan’s” fan letters document his decent into a maniacal infatuation. (Nowadays, the term “stan” has become a part of the cultural lexicon, used to denote a passionate or dedicated fan — though in much more lighthearted context. The new definition was recently added to the Oxford English Dictionary.)
The music video for “Stan” is just as disturbing as the song, following the titular character — played by actor Devon Sawa — as he pens the disturbing letters to Eminem, neglects his pregnant girlfriend (portrayed by singer Dido, whose song “Thank You” is sampled in the chorus) and ultimately drives his car off of a bridge with her inside in an effort to make the rapper notice him.
Sawa took to Twitter on Wednesday to answer some fans questions about the video — including the surprising reason he was cast as Stan in the first place.
“Dre loved FD,” Sawa answered, hinting at longtime Eminem producer and collaborator Dr. Dre’s apparent affinity for the “Final Destination” franchise. The actor starred in the first film in the horror series the same year the “Marshall Mathers” LP was released.
According to Sawa, he had little trouble harnessing the troubled character, admitting, “I was already a little dark in my early 20s.” However, despite the disturbing material, the atmosphere on the “Stan” set was “a huge party,” according to the now-39-year-old actor, who most recently starred on the ABC drama series “Somewhere Between”.
While Sawa says he hasn’t seen Eminem since the “Up in Smoke” tour back in 2000, the two will be forever linked through “Stan,” and its lasting cultural impact. See more from the iconic rapper in the video below.
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