Eminem Channels Marlon Brando For VMA Promo

Rapper remakes scene from 1954 movie 'On the Waterfront' for the shoot.

"I'm ready for my close-up," joked [artist id="502642"]Eminem,[/artist] who had two plugs rammed up his nose on the set of his MTV Video Music Awards appearance promo. Even though the superstar MC was covered in prosthetic bruises and hobbles away from an enflamed car in the commercial for the VMAs, Eminem kept things light behind the scenes at his shoot. In fact, the Recovery rapper said that he wasn't stressing the details, but was there get the job done and maybe horse around a little bit.

"They tell me that it's something for the VMAs, but I've been in my little rat hole. They just let me out to play," Eminem said. "So I'm kind of like that hamster in the ball, when they let him out and he runs around in the ball. I'm in my little ball right now, running around."

In between the running around, the hip-hop megastar, who is up for eight Moonmen, managed to turn in an intense performance in the clip. The commercial opens to the strains of "Not Afraid," with Em limping away from an overturned car right before it bursts into flames with a blast that sends the rapper toppling to the ground. After an onlooker helps him up, a slew of young men in '50s period clothing watch Em stagger along as he gains an upright, steely-eyed version of himself. Then, the confident, unharmed Eminem leads the crew of young men toward a city skyline in the distance.

The rapper explained that the visual is based on a scene from a classic 1954 Marlon Brando flick. "It's kind of a take on 'On the Waterfront.' Like, loosely," Em explained. "The car is exploding and I'm hurt."

The promo is infused with the high drama of the chart-topping MC's return to the top of the music game after battling the lows of a debilitating drug addiction. If the power of the visual short is any indication, Em is going to run things as a performer at this year's VMAs.

What are you expecting from Eminem's appearance at the VMAs? Let us know in the comments below!

The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 12. The party starts with MTV News' VMA Pre-Show at 8 p.m., followed by the main event at 9 p.m. ET.