Eric Pirius, who works as a mortgage banker for Bell Bank, probably has one of the most interesting stories to share during company ice-breakers – yet he rarely tells it, and even when he does, some people don’t believe him until he shows them proof online.
Eric, who has won numerous service-based awards and has a large number of referral clients because of the customer service he provides, once played a well-known villain in a 1996 videogame.
Some video games in the mid-1990s had live action beginnings, endings and cut scenes. Eric played the original Albert Wesker – a villain in Capcom’s Resident Evil series. His portrayal of the character made such an impact that fans will still track him down and contact him on social media – even sending him screenshots of his character to sign.
“At the time, I had no idea what it was to become,” Eric recalls, adding that while he liked arcade games, he wasn’t (and still isn’t) a “gamer.” He knew the role was linked with the video game, but he didn’t know the scenes he shot would be part of the game itself – and he never saw the final product.
Eric’s portrayal of Wesker was one of hundreds of acting, modeling and voiceover jobs he did while living in Japan for about a decade after graduating from college. He’d moved there on a whim and for an adventure, teaching English for a few years, before working fulltime as an actor.
After a while, Eric forgot about his role as Wesker – until about 2018 when fans from around the world started contacting him through social media.
“Thank you, Eric, for being part of our childhood and making those days unforgettable,” one fan wrote.
“Eric, I don't know if you realized it, but your portrayal of the character Albert Wesker defined one of the most beloved and most famous villains in the history of video games,” another fan wrote. “For more than 20 years, I was hoping to find out who the actor was, just to thank him and tell him how much I loved what he did with this character. Thank you, Eric! You will always be the one true Albert Wesker to me!”
To this day, fans call him the “best Albert Wesker,” and hope he will reprise his role or at least appear as a cameo in a movie – something Eric says he would love to do. He’s also considering attending gaming conventions.
Once Eric started to understand the impact his portrayal of Wesker made on so many people, the part started to mean more to him. He tries to answer fans as much as he can, because he knows how much it means to them.
“This really showed me that you should always be aware that even small things can have a big impact on somebody else’s life,” Eric remarks. “Don’t take any interactions or relationships for granted.”
Born in Red Wing, Minn., Eric grew up in Alaska, and attended college at Vassar before living in Tokyo for 10 years. His unique experiences taught him creativity, resourcefulness and determination – traits he’s used to serve his mortgage clients since he entered the field in 1999.
“It is making a dream come true in some circumstances,” Eric remarks. “When you realize that, that’s pretty special.”