Ryan McParland – Interview



SD – Hi Ryan, could you please tell us a bit about yourself? Was acting a childhood dream?

RM – I grew up in Ireland. I enjoy being in nature, the outdoors, lakes, snow, football, hiking and Pilates. 

Acting was never really a dream when I was a kid. I used to talk in different accents and would perform lines of movies that I had seen. At that age, it was a lot of American action films. Then as I got older, I got into youth drama in the local city and I was introduced to improvisation, theatre in general, Shakespeare. It’s been a progression since then. I really wanted to become an actor when I was say 13 or 14. It very quickly had become my sole passion in life. 

SD – You boast an impressive CV including projects such as CALM WITH HORSES, directed by Nick Rowland and starring Cosmo Jarvis, Barry Keoghan and Niamh Algar which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, garnering multiple nominations including a BAFTA nomination for ‘Outstanding British Film’; DAPHNE starring Emily Beecham, compelling Irish drama KISSING CANDICE with Ann Skelly,  feature film THE TALE OF TALES starring Vincent Cassel, and the “terrifically warm and entirely lovable movie” GOOD VIBRATIONS, about Belfast punk impresario Terri Hooley (The Guardian).  You have also starred at the Derry Girls, Six degrees and How Many Miles to Babylon at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, just to name a few. From all the characters you have played, both on screen and stage, which one was your favourite and why?

RM – They are all incredibly special to me. They have all been such a wonderful and unique part of my life. Every role is important no matter to the size of it, and I really cannot single out one.

SD – You are starring in the highly anticipated live-action military science fiction television series HALO for Paramount +, based on the hugely popular Halo video game franchise. Can you tell us a little about the series?

RM – It is set within its own timeline, the Silver Timeline, and follows iconic characters Master Chief, Dr. Catherine Halsey and Cortana as they navigate their way through conflict with the Covenant forces. 



SD – What attracted you to the Adun character?

RM – I had a few scenes to prepare for the audition in London, and I was totally consumed by it for days leading up to it. Adun was fascinating on the page. The role was very intriguing right from the offset, but I wasn’t aware of his connection to Halsey or the Spartans. I had no idea what his exact role was in the story but knowing it was Halo was exciting enough.

SD – What can the audience expect from HALO?

An epic sci-fi adventure, one that hopefully lives up to fan’s expectations but offers an awesome experience for newcomers to the franchise and world of Halo.

SD – How did it feel to be in a science fiction set?

RM – Surreal. The scale of everything was incredible. The work that went into everything was extraordinary. The sets that were built, the costumes, the craftsmanship, the designing. It was so surreal. The stuff you dream of as a kid. 

SD – Which of the fictional characters you played both on stage and screen would you be excited to meet in real life?

RM – I’d happily meet any of them. They live with you for a period of time and so that connection feels very real at times. I’m not sure if Adun and I would be the greatest friends, though he’s got a great jacket.

SD – Anything in works that you can talk about. Any exciting new projects?

RM – I recently finished shooting a comedy pilot for Channel 4 in London with the extraordinary Rosie Jones called Disability Benefits. It was some of the best writing I’d read in a long time. It was written by Rosie and Peter Fellows, and I’m huge fans of them both. They’re incredible artists. It was brilliant to be back doing some comedy. I started out in more comedic roles and haven’t been able to do as much I wanted over the years. I’m so excited to be a part of it.

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