How The Real World Helped Save The Life of Eric Nies

How The Real World Helped Save The Life of Eric Nies

When The Real World debuted in 1992, it was considered a ground breaking show. At the time, reality TV was still a new concept and the idea of a bunch of strangers living together in a house seemed crazy. The show quickly appeared to be a hit, however, and it has gone on to be considered one of the most influential reality series of all-time. When Eric Nies signed up to be a cast member on the show’s first season, he had absolutely no idea what to expect. To his surprise, the experience turned out to be life changing in more ways than Eric could have ever imagined. He even credits the show with helping to move him from a very dark place in his life.  Keep reading to find out how being on The Real World saved Eric Nies’ life.

Who Is Eric Nies

Eric was born and raised in New Jersey. As a person who was born in the 70s when the concept of reality was virtually unheard of, Eric wasn’t someone who grew up wanting to be a reality TV star. Instead, he spent several years working as a model and he had gotten relatively well-known even before becoming a cast member on The Real World.

People who crossed paths with Eric during the early 90s probably assumed that he had it all together, but on the service things weren’t as good as they seemed. Nies struggled with addiction and consequently ran into some trouble with the law. In fact, while he was on probation while The Real World was filming.

How Being On The Show Saved His Life

These days, most people would agree that being on a reality TV show is more likely to negatively impact a person’s life than it is to be positive. Fortunately for Eric, that wasn’t the reality for him. Not only was being on The Real World a positive experience for him, but he believes it’s one of the only reasons he’s still alive. During an interview with Andy Cohen, Eric said “If the Real World didn’t happen and my life didn’t go the way that it did, I might have been dead.”

Eric went on to explain that he had suffered traumatic experiences during his childhood — including physical, verbal, and sexual abuse — that he had been suppressing for years. He began using drugs as a coping mechanism which only led him even further away from a path of healing.

Being able to see himself on the show proved to be the wake up call that he needed. Eric was able to address the things that he didn’t like about himself he found himself feeling motivated to make positive changes in his life. Eric’s story just goes to show that you never know how one decision could change the entire trajectory of a person’s life. What Eric may not realize is that the things he and the rest of the cast shared during their season may have helped save some viewers’ lives as well.

What Has Eric Been Up To Since The Real World?

In addition to saving his life, being on The Real World also opened the doors for lots of other opportunities for Eric. After being on the show, he went on to land several acting opportunities. He appeared in an episode of Days of Our Lives in 1993 and he was also in the 1994 movie Above the Rim. Eric continues to be part of the MTV reality TV family as well. He was in several seasons of The Real World/Road Rules Challenge (now called The Challenge).

Most recently, Eric was set to return to his Real World roots with the 2021 mini series The Real World Homecoming: New York. The reunion series welcomed the original cast members back to the New York City loft they shared 30 years ago. Unfortunately, Eric was not able to be there in person due to testing positive for COVID-19.

He told ET Online, “It was heartbreaking for me. I flew all this way 29 years later. We were coming back to be together and to find out that I wasn’t gonna be there with them physically — that was just heartbreaking. It was crushing.” Despite not being physically present in the house, Eric was still able to participate through video chat. Eric has since recovered from the virus.

Outside of what he’s done in the entertainment industry, Eric is also a shaman and the founder of a program called The Beauty Way which is designed to be a physical and mental cleanse.

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