Video games have fans as devoted as TV and movie buffs. Just ask actor Christopher Emerson, who voices the character of Piers Nivans in Resident Evil 6, the latest installment in the action-horror franchise that's spawned numerous games and movies since 1996. He recently spoke with Digital Airwaves about being part of the Resident Evil universe and his own love of gaming. SPOILER ALERT!
"I've been really lucky to have some incredible experiences," said the actor. Of his work on Resident Evil 6, he added, "It's been a highlight. It's been a fantastic ride. It's hugely to the experience of my first foray into facial motion capture technology and getting to use that very, very innovative technology to tell story. That was incredible by itself - but this whole second half that's transpired since the release of the game, with the fan response and getting to interact with fans all over the world, it's been this incredible highlight."
Unfortunately for him, his character doesn't survive the events of the game. Asked if he was upset about Piers' demise, he said, "I think it's been more depressing for fans. Don't get me wrong, I have not given up hope that Piers didn't die at the end of RE6. I'm holding out hope that somehow Capcom goes, 'You know what, we didn't actually physically see him die.'
"What was so fantastic was [that] it was such a rich storyline to portray. This real brothers-in-arms [between] Chris [Redfield] and Piers. It was so much fun to do. To have that cool of a sacrifice death scene, it was so badass to do that I can't complain too much."
Despite Piers' fate, Emerson is grateful for the outpouring of appreciation that he's received from Resident Evil fans all over the world. "The fans have been amazing," he said. "People send me the coolest things. They create art. They send me an entire eulogy of their feelings. It's so amazing to be able to tell an effective story like that."
The actor understands the passion of the Resident Evil fans, because he's a gaming aficionado himself. "I grew up with video games," he explained. "My first console was a black and white Atari system. I had an original NES system. I actually had a Commodore computer. Those were the seeds and I've always been a gamer. Video games and the industry has been a part of my life. And watching the evolution of going from like Pitfall to games like RE6 or Uncharted is amazing. And then to actually be a part of it is just this total geek dream come true."
"I'm a classic fan, for sure," he added, naming titles like Pac-Man and Joust among his favorites, but he's also not shy about embracing new releases. "On the flip side of that, I love everything that's coming out. I just started Skyrim," he said. "Skyrim is ridiculous. I think I spent two hours on the character creator before I even started the game."
What would his dream video game-related gig be? "The first thing that comes to mind is I'm a big sucker for Final Fantasy games," he said. Paging someone at Square Enix...
In addition to his gaming work, Emerson is also returning to his live-action career. He's the lead in an upcoming horror film, Antioch, about a secret military operation that accidentally opens the gates to Hell with disastrous results. Later next year, he'll also be seen opposite Eric Roberts and Juliet Landau in another feature film. At the same time, he unapologetically embraces his nerdy side.
"I think it's so funny how much people don't think I'm a nerd," Emerson said with a laugh. "The type of characters I tend to play aren't necessarily nerdy, so I think people are often surprised to find out how big of a nerd I am." Considering he's helped save the world from yet another monster attack, he's allowed to be as nerdy as he wants.
You can keep up with Christopher Emerson on Twitter (@PlanetEmerson). Resident Evil 6 is now available for XBox 360 and PlayStation 3.
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(c)2012 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.