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Gilles Nuytens

Fans interview Paul McGillion (3)
Date of publishing: 15th December 2006

Paul McGillion interview - Dr. Carson Beckett Stargate Atlantis Paul studied both education (major) and theatre (minor) at University. Paul's first appearence in the Stargate franchise was in the episode "The Torment Of Tantalus" (Stargate SG-1). 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.
In November 2006, The Scifi World gave the opportunity to all his fans to ask him their questions on The Scifi World Board.
So, this Q&A is the result of their participation on the forum!
We hope this interview will satisfy everybody!



Question 1: The question that everybody wants to know. There are rumors about the death of Carson Beckett in the second half of season 3. Rumors born form a photo of a funeral and a Scottish flag ... Fans have even created a website (http://www.savecarsonbeckett.com) So, without giving us any big spoilers, will you continue acting in season 4?
Paul McGillion: As much as I’d love to comment on these rumours – I am not at liberty to discuss until season 3 has completed airing. Just know that I have always loved working on Stargate-Atlantis and the fans have been so great to me. I’ll be happy to address this issue after season 3 has aired.

Question 2: Looking back at season 3, what's your thoughts on it? Were there any particular story arc you wish they had dealt with? Or what major arc would you like to see for Beckett in the future?
Paul McGillion: Season 3 has certainly been an eventful one for Carson Beckett. Stand-out episodes for me include : ‘Misbegotten’ – the retrovirus story is very interesting and I believe it’ll be developed further. ‘Irresistible’ – working with Richard Kind was a real pleasure and Beckett crying with Sheppard in a puddle jumper is always something to behold. ‘Phantoms’ – I thought i twas such an interesting script that Carl Binder wrote. Seeing all the main characters encountering moral dilemmas made for a really exciting episode of Atlantis. And finally ‘Sunday’ - well, when you watch it you’ll know what I mean !

Question 3: Will viewers know what Carson did before being involved in Atlantis' expedition? Any plans on knowing a bit more on Carson's past/family?
Paul McGillion: Rumor has it that Carson Beckett was a Chip ‘n Dale dancer, but I don’t see it, as I have two left feet. We can only hope that Carson’s past is developed further as the seasons progress.

Question 4: You were amazing in "See Grace Fly", and we are looking forward to seeing you in A Dog's Breakfast. Do you plan to do anymore live theater? If so, what are the chances of you taking a play on the road and going to the U.S.?
Paul McGillion: Thank you for your kind comments regarding ‘See Grace Fly’. I still hold that film close to my heart. Working on ‘A Dog’s Breakfast’ with my Atlantis co-star, the ultra-talented David Hewlett, was just a blast. And the good news is – MGM just picked up the world-wide rights for the film, so hopefully in the near future, you’ll be able to see it in a theatre near you ! In regards to doing live theatre – would love to at some point in time, but my focus these days is primarily on film and television.

Question 5: You and Gina Chiarelli had such great chemistry in See Grace Fly, are there any plans to make another movie with her?
Paul McGillion: Gina Chiarelli is just a gem. We were recently talking about doing another film together, and hopefully the right script comes along and that can happen !

Question 6: How was it working on "A dog's breakfast" What was it like kissing your friend (Rachel Luttrell)?
Paul McGillion: Like I said, ‘A Dog’s Breakfast’ was a fantastic experience. Kissing Rachel ? Priceless. (not to mention, a whole lot better than kissing David Hewlett !)

Question 7: Which character on Stargate Atlantis would you like to connect with more?
Paul McGillion: Jason Mamoa. I think Beckett and Ronon should have a sparring scene.

Question 8: While filming A Dog's Breakfast were there any pranks played on anyone that you can talk about?
Paul McGillion: Every day there was a prank on a comedy like that !

Question 9: What was your favorite thing about playing Colt in "A dog's breakfast"?
Paul McGillion: Playing Colt was like playing an action figure. Being the hero guy was a lot of fun, not to mention Rachel’s outfit.

Question 10: In several interviews, David Hewlett has reported that he plans to release A Dog's Breakfast in a "book tour" format, traveling, occasionally with co-stars, from city to city and doing Q&A's and speaking when the film is shown. Is there any chance you might be in on any of these screenings?

Paul McGillion: Any chance to travel around and promote ‘A Dog’s Breakfast’ would be great. As long as I don’t have to share a room with Hewlett.

Question 11: Which takes more time to prepare for - a comedic scene or a dramatic scene?
Paul McGillion: Preparation for a comedy and drama all depend on the subject matter.

Question 12: From past and current season, what scenes you were in required the most take to shoot?
Paul McGillion: There’s a scene in ‘Misbegotten’ where Beckett is caught spying on Michael and do to the logistics of the shot – I believe it took 17 takes to get the right reveal.

Question 13: You work with a really talented group of people. How many times do you have to redo your scenes when working with David Hewlett or David Nykl, both have huge sense of humors and we would suspect like to help keep you somewhat distracted when the camera is on you?
Paul McGillion: As funny as the two Davids are, both on and off camera – we try to keep the takes to a minimum as time is money.

Question 14: How was the filming of these beautiful scenes where you were crying? Is this the most difficult thing to do for an actor?
Paul McGillion: Beckett cries a lot. And for some reason, it’s not that hard, I don’t know why. Maybe I need more chocolate to make me happy !

Question 15: Especially in late season 2/ early season 3, we begin to see a dichotomy in Beckett's character - the caring physician and the researcher with some questionable goals/motives. Do you see Beckett as someone who's simply out to "right the wrongs of the universe" and doesn't consider the possible consequences until afterwards or is there a slightly darker "the end justifies the means" philosophy here?
Paul McGillion: I believe the dichotomy in the character that you speak about has to do primarily with the retrovirus story arc. I believe Beckett has very good moral intentions, but the pressure of war-fare has compromised some of his decision making abilities. At the end of the day, he’s a good man with a strong moral code that seeks peace.

Question 16: If you didn't got Carson's role, what other character would you have liked to play in Atlantis?
Paul McGillion: If I wasn’t playing Beckett, Sheppard would be pretty cool – he has good hair.

Question 17: What has been your favorite project to work on, of all the films and TV work you've done?
Paul McGillion: Honestly, Stargate-Atlantis has been my favorite television gig, and ‘See Grace Fly’ my favorite film – with ‘A Dog’s Breakfast’ right up there !

Question 18: If given an open choice, is there any other TV show on today that you'd like to be a part of?
Paul McGillion: I don’t know, are they doing a ‘Baywatch Vancouver’ ?

Question 19: You've said once that you'd like the audience to see Carson's quarters, what do you think they look like? Or will we be seeing into Carson’s quarters anytime soon?
Paul McGillion: I can’t comment. That’s all all up to the set designer! But, I’d like to have a cozy blanket and of course a little corner for my turtles.

Question 20: What's the best advice you've received as an actor?
Paul McGillion: Be a good listener, it helps a lot.

Question 21: Have you ever refused a part because the character cut too close to you or would have required you to go somewhere psychologically that you weren't prepared to go (Not especially in Stargate)?
Paul McGillion: No, I’ve never turned down a part for those reasons, I love the opportunity for a challenge !

Question 22: Have you ever taken on a characteristic/affectation specifically for a character that you then had trouble dropping?
Paul McGillion: No, I try to leave the character traits on set, works out better for everybody that way.

Question 23: What is the furthest you have gone to create a character (e.g., research, exercise)?
Paul McGillion: I like to research a character as much as possible to reach a level of believability for the audience.

Question 24: Will there be any progress with the retro virus to make the wraith human permanently in 2nd half of season 3?
Paul McGillion: Refer to the writers for those answers !



Question 25: How is being an international TV Star affects your day to day routines and life?
Paul McGillion: Thanks, that’s flattering ! But, pretty much, I’m the same guy. The odd time, I get recognized – it makes me feel good.

Question 26: What do you think of the science fiction convention experience? What do you enjoy the most?
Paul McGillion: The science fiction conventions give me an opportunity to meet the fans. I do appreciate that tremendously.

Question 27: With which character of Stargate Sg-1 would you like to work in Stargate Atlantis?
Paul McGillion: The characters on SG-1 are all such fine actors – it would be hard to choose. Chris Judge would be alot of fun to work with though !

Question 28: What do you do with all the gifts you receive from your fans?
Paul McGillion: I have a special place for them in my home. And again, thanks to all the fans ! PS : I do love Scotch ! and PSS : the chocolate is in my belly !

Question 29: Your character has a lot of great lines/quotes. What's your favorite one?
Paul McGillion: I’ve been fortunate – Beckett’s had alot of good lines to choose from. The last scene with Beckett and Rodney in the pilot has a great quote.

Now, quick questions for the fun:
Question 30: What's been your most embrassing experience with a fan?
Paul McGillion: Well, I got to tell you, one fan asked to sign her ‘you-know-what’. Can you say awkward ?

Question 31: What was it like Kissing David Hewlett?
Paul McGillion: One word : sandpaper.

Question 32: If you could have dinner with Carson, what do you think you would discuss?
Paul McGillion: Football, ladies and fine Scottish cuisine.

Question 33: Do you own a kilt? Have you ever worn one?
Paul McGillion: Funny you mention that – I recently wore a kilt in London and Germany and recently purchased one for my own collection. And YES, I’m a true Scotsman.

Question 34: If they were making a movie based on your life...who would play you?
Paul McGillion: Well, it’s a toss-up between Di Caprio, Clooney and Pit – but ultimately, Jack Black would be a good fit.

Question 35: Do you have a motto that you try and live by??
Paul McGillion: Eat, drink and be merry !

Question 36: Your favorite TV show as a kid??
Paul McGillion: Gilligan’s Island.

Question 37: The best prank on David Hewlett?
Paul McGillion: It’s yet to come – I’ve been plotting it for the past three years !

Question 38: Were you jealous when Joe Flanigan shot David (episode "Phantoms")?
Paul McGillion: No, not really - I told him to do it !

Question 39: If you were to pick a song for someone to make a fanvideo of you, what would that song be? And why?
Paul McGillion: Like a Virgin – need I say more? Oh, poor Carson.

Question 40: How many valentines cards did you get last year (if any)?
Paul McGillion: Not nearly enough, come on ladies ! Carson’s lonely…

Question 41: Joe Flanigan related a tale of how during one scene, he kept loading rocks into your backpack. What precisely happened?
Paul McGillion: He loaded rocks into my backpack without telling me. I dropped 5 lbs. Of sweat that day. Joe will get his – don’t worry. But, I have to admit, it was very funny !

Question 42: If you had to describe your co-stars using just one word, what would you say about each of them?
Paul McGillion: Joe : hair – Tori : class – Rachel : hot – Jason : Chubaka – David : garlic breath

Question 43: You weren't very computer savy. Has that changed or are you still a little intimidated by technology?
Paul McGillion: It’s getting better – I am slowly coming out of the stone ages. I have even recently purchased a printer and have been known to use it properly! And – soon to get a laptop.

Question 44: What was you first audition? Did you get the part?
Paul McGillion: First audition : sorry, my memory doesn’t go back that far !


Question 45: If you could re-do something in your life what would it be?
Paul McGillion: Absolutely nothing. Things are going pretty darn good, so far.

Question 46: Do you still have an opportunity to wrestle?
Paul McGillion: Only on the odd date – unless she’s not a grappler.



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