with Paul McGillion
of publishing: 21st October 2005
Paul McGillion was born in Paisley, a small town in Scotland
and emigrated first to Ireland then to Canada when he was
Paul studied both education (major) and theatre (minor) at
University, and also got involved in various sports including
becoming a freestyle wrestling champion. After graduating
the actor began his career teaching theatre in Toronto, squeezing
in time to attend auditions.
Paul's first appearence in the Stargate franchise was in the
episode "The Torment Of Tantalus" (Stargate SG-1)
playing the young Ernest Littlefield. When Stargate Atlantis
launched in July 2004, he got a recurring role in the first
season as Dr. Carson Beckett, and became a full main cast
member since season 2.
Gilles Nuytens: Hello
Mr McGillion, Can you tell us what motivated you to become
an actor ? And what motivates you today in the actor job ?
Paul McGillion: I am one of seven children
- I had to act to stand out and get noticed, not to mention
fed and clothed!! Today - great writing and embodying interesting
characters such as Carson Beckett.
Gilles Nuytens: So,
you are speaking with the Scottish accent in Atlantis, isn't
it too difficult to speak naturally and think with this accent
? Do you sometimes speak with this accent after the scenes
are shot ?
McGillion: I was born in Scotland and grew up in
Canada - but I've spent my whole life listening to my mother
and father speak with the accent - so it comes naturally!
Every once in a while I'll break into the brogue for fun,
it's just in my blood and such a fun accent to play with!
Nuytens: You became very
popular amongst Stargate fans in a short time, how do you
manage this success ?
Paul McGillion: Thank YOU and the fans for
that. I take it all in stride - one day at a time - and just
try to do a good job! I think it's important also to focus
on being true to your character and not let all the hype get
to you...just tell the story, and hopefully you'll be interesting
to the audience.
Gilles Nuytens: Now
you are a full "main cast" member of Stargate Atlantis,
what are the differences with this new status ? Or is there
really a difference ?
Paul McGillion: There isn't really a difference.
In season one, I really felt like I was part of the main team
- so the transition has been easy. I am also very thankful
for getting the main cast status, not to mention being in
the front credits.
Gilles Nuytens: How
could you describe Carson Beckett, his psychology, his way
of life, thinking, and how do you see his evolution in the
future ? What would you like to put into this character and
did you build him a past, a life to give him a more realistic
and better play ?
Paul McGillion: Dr. Carson Beckett is a very
interesting and complex character who wears his heart on his
sleeve. He is passionate about his work and has a very moralistic
backbone. The character has developed greatly since the pilot
- thanks to his interactions with all of the other characters
and great story lines from great writers. From comedy to drama
- Carson has seen it all and will hopefully continue to get
bigger and broader with every encounter and challenge. Initially,
the character of Beckett did not have a distinct nationality
- when I auditionned for Atlantis, I came in with a Scottish
accent, and thankfully the producers responded in my favour!
Gilles Nuytens: Similar
question to the one above: Would you like to write an episode
focused essentially on Beckett, to build him a past, to explore
his mind and his past more deeply and to give a bigger dimension
to this character ? Do you think the producers may be interested
in that ?
Paul McGillion: As far as writing an episode
for Beckett - at this point in time, I think I'll leave that
in the competent hands of our terrific writers. Beckett has
been involved in some great story lines and I'm very happy
with the way the character is progressing.
Gilles Nuytens: At
the time we are speaking, on which episode of Stargate are
you working, what is it talking about and how much episodes
are still to do for this season ?
Paul McGillion: We have just wrapped Season
Two of SGA. Oh what a season it's been! You are all in for
a treat! Great stories, action and fun for the fans!
Nuytens: It seems that Lt.
Laura Cadman, played by Jaime Ray Newman, has some affinity
with Dr Beckett, how will this relationship evolve ? Will
anything happen this year between them ?
Paul McGillion: I will say that we do see
Cadman in more than one episode this year. My lips are sealed
and there can be no pillow talk from me!
Gilles Nuytens: Outside
of acting, what do you like to do in your free time ? And
what are the things that are the most important in your life
and in general ?
Paul McGillion: Running, movies, theater,
watching lots of sports on television. Most important in my
life are : my friends and family who are all dear to my heart.
Gilles Nuytens: Now,
my favorite question: What is the last funny anecdote that
has happened on the set of Stargate ?
Paul McGillion: In the episode DUET - when
we rehearsed the infamous kissing scene between myself and
David Hewlett, he surprised me by planting me right on the
kisser for REAL in the rehearsal - everyone on set lost it!
I'm still in therapy for it.
Gilles Nuytens: What
did you find the most difficult about playing Dr Beckett ?
Paul McGillion: The continous medical jargon
can be challenging at times. But overall, he is a JOY to play.
Gilles Nuytens: What
do you think to bring to the Stargate franchise, as a person
and as an actor ?
Paul McGillion: Hopefully I bring integrity
and a strong work ethic to the already successfull Stargate
Gilles Nuytens: If
Stargate Atlantis would continue as long as SG-1 does, I mean
nearly 10 seasons, would you stay as long as the show continue
? For how many season have you signed ?
Paul McGillion: I'll play Dr. Carson Beckett
as long as they'll have me!
Gilles Nuytens: What
are the episodes you enjoyed the most to do ? As an actor
and as a person, what did you learn from it ?
Paul McGillion: My favorite episodes are
the pilot RISING, POISONING THE WELL, DUET, just to mention
a few. All the episodes show a different side of Beckett and
give me, as an actor, the ability to portray range in the
Thanks so much for your interest in Stargate - and especially
Dr. Carson Beckett. I wish SciFiWorld great success - and
to all the fans out there - THANK YOU!!
by Gilles Nuytens for The