By Sean Devlin
Irish actor Peter Halpin had a huge 2016 full of firsts and accolades – and he’s looking to the new year for new challenges.
His film “Narcan,” which covered the trials of Irish paramedic Sean Ryan on the streets of New York City, has been received with critical acclaim. The production was not only a selection at a number of festivals, including the Chelsea Film Festival, Waterford Film Festival and Irish Screen America, it also managed to take home some hardware.
The piece won Best Narrative Short at the New York Metropolitan Film Festival, and Halpin, the film’s leading man and driving force, took home the best actor award at the Williamsburg Independent Film Festival. The Limerick-born Halpin is amazed by the progress in his career in the past year and the reception of his work, but he’s managed to stay grounded by staying focused on the bigger picture.
“It’s been really busy, and people seem to like the work we’ve done, and we’re super happy with the response to ‘Narcan,’” Halpin said. “I’ve said this a lot, but you’re a bit nervous when people watch the film in the theater and you hope that people will like it, but you’ve got no control over their reactions. But as I watch the emotion that is evoked from the audience – gasps, tears – that magical reaction compensates you more than any financial reward in the end. It makes me really excited to move on to the next project.”
Halpin said “Narcan” took a year to conceive and bring to fruition, and took a week to film. He credited his creative team and writer/director Peter McNamara for making “Narcan” the award-winner it is. “We put a ton of work into it, and once everyone shared Mack’s vision, it took on a life of its own,” the actor said.
Indeed, it has been so well received that is being optioned into a feature film, to be shot in New York next year.Halpin has a number of projects coming up in the next year, and not all of them are in front of the camera, speaking to his ability as a versatile talent.
“I’ve just set up my own production company that’ll help me to really work better both in front of and behind the camera and I’ll be moving forward with that. We’re very excited to shoot ‘Narcan’ the feature this year – and overall I’ve been quite busy. I’ve been doing lots of readings, which is a staple for any actor in New York. Between the film, other projects I’m working on, the stage and screen – it really seems that 2017 is going to be a manic year for me.”
Halpin will also appear in “The Resurrection Love Song,” in which he plays the lead role, a tortured soul desperately seeking redemption, and “Prerequisite,” which has him as an undercover Brooklyn detective. Both films will hit the festival circuit this summer.
The Limerick actor’s success has not come without lots of hard work. He credits the attitude of New York City for helping him progress not only as an actor, but as a person as well.
“The thing I love about this city is that you can really accomplish anything if you put forth your best effort. There’s a place for everyone,” Halpin said. “I’ve been acting for a long time, but New York has exposed me to new viewpoints and performers that have made me so much more well rounded. I’m grateful for that. Also, there’s something about that attitude of hard work that really goes a long way here.”
Peter Halpin after receiving an award
at the Willliamsburg Film Festival.