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Why Albert Wesker From Netflix's Resident Evil Looks So Familiar

This week sees the release of Netflix's latest take on the beloved and excessively bloody world of "Resident Evil" in an all-new series. 

Spawned from a video game property that first came out nearly three decades ago, the new show casts a freshly decaying eye on flesh-eating zombies overly fond of chewing on people, as well as an iconic villain that has caused problems ever since the beginning. Albert Wesker has been a recurring foe to the franchise's heroes, spurring on the chaos that only the combination of carefully spent bullets and well-placed headshots can bring down. In the Netflix series, though, he's a far tamer figure that's all about science and not so much about family.

Besides being a head figure within the Umbrella Cooperation, this "Resident Evil" follows his attempt to contain and cover up the T-Virus created within the shady organization, while parenting his two daughters. It's a tough job, but someone's got to try and bring some moral fiber to one of the most hated characters in video game history, and it just so happens to be a man whose career is as cool as his emblematic rasp. This guy has been in two beloved sci-fi shows, been backup for one of the most feared action heroes of all time, and he's even handled law enforcement in one of the best TV shows ever made. He has also dabbled in video game franchises himself, appearing in some that have suffered their own world-ending events (ones where survival necessitated more than a green herb found in a police station).

Lance Reddick came down to The Wire as Cedric Daniels

When you find yourself on the Baltimore streets that are depicted on "The Wire," you can throw a rock in any direction, and you'd be guaranteed to hit a top-tier performance from each member of the show's incredible cast. Throughout David Simon's five amazing seasons of detectives, their ongoing war on drugs, and the characters most impacted by them, one especially great addition was Lance Reddick as Lt. Cedric Daniels, who was present for the entire series. 

Mostly found at the head of an operation that was finding all the pieces that mattered, Daniels got it from all angles, whether it was the elusive targets he was after, the rebellious police under his command, or the corrupt ones watching over him. Unlike many ranking officers with a bit of power, Daniels' moral compass stayed on point as much as his self-restraint. Seeing Reddick deliver reserved but scene-rattling moments as Daniels is just one of the many elements that still makes "The Wire" the rewatchable small-screen masterpiece it's chalked up to be, even after all these years. Reddick, for his part, agrees. In a 2019 interview with GQ, Reddick made it clear that, all this time later, he's still happy to talk about his work on "The Wire" anytime, saying "You know, ['The Wire' is] an iconic piece of history and I feel very fortunate and proud of the work we did with that."

Lance Reddick got Lost and found himself at the Fringe

While he may have made a name for himself in the realistic world of "The Wire," Reddick delivered noticeable performances in two beloved science fiction shows spun from the mind of J.J. Abrams — and those programs were "Lost" and "Fringe." Both led to fan-favorite appearances for Reddick, albeit leading to an unexpected chain of events that left the actor slightly bitter about how things turned out.

In "Lost," he debuted in the show's fourth season as the mysterious Matthew Abaddon, set to become a significant piece to a puzzle the world was obsessing over. Unfortunately, after being cast in Abrams' other co-developed show, his time with the island survivors was cut short. Reddick admitted to The Hollywood Reporter, "When I was cast on 'Fringe,' I was told that I'd be able to continue recurring on 'Lost.' And then, the very first episode that I did on 'Lost' in the middle of 'Fringe' season one — they killed me. So, that was annoying."

Nevertheless, even after being killed off on "Lost," his time on "Fringe" was still welcomed by fans. Joining a cast comprised of talented performers like Anna Torv, John Noble, and Joshua Jackson, the show followed a special task force within the FBI known as the Fringe Division. Reddick played the head of the department, Phillip Broyles, who managed a team that did everything from investigating parallel universes to just your good old-fashioned end-of-the-world scenarios.

Lance Reddick was locked and loaded in John Wick as the Hotel Manager, Charon

While "John Wick" will always be remembered as the blockbuster franchise that propelled The One ... er, Keanu Reeves, to new heights, the series has always offered plenty of other great characters aside from the dog-loving, pistol-packing, pencil-pushing hitman at its center. One particularly memorable face among the stellar supporting cast has been Lance Reddick. Becoming an immediate fan favorite and appearing in every "John Wick" film so far, Reddick's stoic receptionist of the Hotel Continental, Charon, is a role that has grown with each installment. From dog-sitter to weaponized wingman for Mr. Wick, Reddick has become as essential to this action-packed franchise as Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, and Halle Berry.

Like every live-action performance he's been a part of, so much of Reddick's time on screen is elevated by his magnetizing presence — perfectly portraying Charon as a powerful figure that, in a world of cold-blooded killers, certified he could hold his own, even before he uttered a word. 

What's surprising, though, is the exciting pair of characters that Reddick looked to for inspiration, when it came to crafting the Contintental's super-cool concierge. Reddick discussed his analysis of the character in an interview with Vulture, saying, "He speaks so little, but his presence is large, and I had to find a way to capture that. So I started through some performances that made me think of him." His search led him to a pair of interesting personalities that couldn't be further from one another, but somehow make total sense: "The two people who came to mind were Alfred from 'Batman' and Hector Elizondo from 'Pretty Woman.'"

Lance Reddick spoke volumes as Sylens in the Horizon videogame franchise

It's often the case that video game characters share key similarities with the people who are voicing them. However, when it came to one specific role in the "Horizon" videogame franchise, it seemed that Reddick was deemed a perfect fit for being a manipulative guide across a post-apocalyptic world, both in voice and appearance. Released in 2017, "Horizon: Forbidden West" saw you take on the role of Aloy (Ashley Burch), a tribal outcast in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by deadly robotic creatures. In this landscape, where giant robot dinosaurs roam free in a realm that had been sent back centuries, Riddick took the role of Sylens, a mysterious stranger who helps Aloy discover how the world she lived in came to be. 

Already experienced in lending his talents to the videogame industry after appearing in "Quantum Break" and "Destiny," Reddick admitted to Vulture just because he'd performed as a videogame character didn't mean he was great at actually playing the games themselves. Talking about "Horizon," the star of the big and small screen said, "With 'Horizon,' there was a part of me that just wanted to watch the story because it's so cool." It turns out, though, that he has his loading limits, admitting that when it comes to games, he eventually just pulls up the rest of the story on YouTube.