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Eminem is sharing his thoughts on Curtis Hanson, the director of 8 Milewho died on Tuesday at the age of 71. In a statement to Billboard, the rapper said: "Curtis Hanson believed in me and our crazy idea to make a rap battle movie set in Detroit. He basically made me into an actor for 8 Mile. I'm lucky I got to know him."

8 Mile, released in 2002, was Eminem's first Hollywood role that scored him an Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Lose Yourself." Prior to this movie, Hanson was known for directing and penning the 1997 noir crime film L.A. Confidential starring Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce and Kim Basinger. He went on to win the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for the film.

Hanson also directed 2000's Wonder Boys, 2005's In Her Shoes and 2012's Chasing Mavericks. He passed away at his home in Los Angeles of natural causes. "So sad to lose Curtis Hanson. No one taught me as much about film acting as this man. A father figure and mentor. I will miss you my friend," Guy Pearce shared on Twitter. See more celebrity tributes below: