Nearly two decades after starring in the music video for Eminem’s song “Stan,” Devon Sawa still stans for the rapper.
The Canadian actor talked to Vice about starring in the video 18 years ago and the unexpected contribution it made to online discourse.
In the video, Sawa, now 40, plays an overzealous Eminem fan named Stan who, after having his numerous letters ignored by the rapper, drives his car into a river killing himself and his pregnant girlfriend.
In the years since the video’s release, “stan” has become online shorthand for obsessive fans and obsessive fan behavior (e.g. “I stan for Eminem. And anyone who doesn’t should die.”), its usage now so widespread that it has been added to the Oxford English Dictionary.
“I’ve known what it meant since people started using it,” the actor said. “My brother was the first one who sent me the article when it was added to the Oxford English dictionary.”
Then, while talking about his favorite rap albums of the year, Sawa revealed he’s still a huge fan of Eminem.
“This particular year, I mean Eminem’s new record coincidentally was phenomenal,” he said of the rapper’s album “Kamikaze.” “I like anything Kendrick Lamar puts out, I liked Lil Wayne’s CD this year. I’m still into old hip-hop, all the greats—Nas, Biggie, Pac, Jay Z, KRS-One. But I think Eminem’s is the greatest that came out this year. I might be biased, but I loved it.”
He also explained that it was his love of Eminem’s music that pushed him to do the video against the wishes of his own agent.
“When I did Stan, my agent who I’m still with to this very day advised against it. It was like ‘Eminem? C’mon Dev, I dunno about doing a music video.’” Nobody was really on board with doing it on my team, and I was the only one who was like, ‘Oh my god, this guy’s really, really good.’ So I did it anyways.”
In addition to the video for “Stan,” Sawa also appeared in movies like “Little Giants,” “Casper” and “Final Destination.”
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