It has been almost a year since we last chatted with Paul McGillion (“Dr. Carson Beckett”) — too long! Since that time he has become engaged, immersed himself in countless new projects, and survived the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Last week McGillion took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to catch up with us! Here’s what he had to say …
… ON MOVING BACK TO VANCOUVER
“I’ve been back here for a while. I got engaged in the summertime to the lovely Courtney Armstrong. She’s awesome. I got engaged in New York in the summertime. I’m kind of based out of [Vancouver] now. It’s great.”
… ON SHATTERED
“I’m actually working on a series called Shattered right now. Interesting guest star role, a really cool character. It’s with Callum Keith Rennie. It’s a cop drama, and I’m playing the guest star role of this character, Victor Hugo, who is basically a serial killer. Very different from Beckett, obviously, which is great. I finish that up this week.”
… ON WEXFORD AND SANCTUARY
“I come back next week to start on Sanctuary, reprising the role of Wexford. I’m heavily in the first two episodes and we’ll see where it goes form there.
“He’s a lot more evil than I thought he would’ve been. I don’t know where they’re going. I went to a couple of conventions. I was in Europe in January. People were like, ‘I love your character but I hate him.’ It’s a really fun character.
“Martin Wood and Amanda and Damian Kindler, and Christopher Heyerdahl … It’s like an extension of Stargate, to a certain degree. A lot of familiar faces and great folks. I’m really enjoying working on it. It’s a really fun character to play. It’s always fun playing the villains.
“You have the prosthetics and the contact lenses, which [compared to Beckett] are a whole different kettle of fish to deal with. That presents challenges. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re doing, because you can’t see or focus fully. You’re hoping everything’s working out well. It seems to be going well.
“I was very happy with the final two episodes last season when Wexford took over for Amanda Tapping’s character. The production value on it’s really good and the special effects are amazing, I think.
… ON OTHER PROJECTS
“Confined is a movie I did just before Christmas. I play a detective in it. It’s a very small cast with Michael Hogan from Battlestar Galactica, Emma Caulfield who’s in Buffy, and David James Elliott, whom we all know from his days on JAG. A great guy. I play the lone detective in it. It’s a suspense thriller. I have to say, Michael Hogan has a really creepy character and does a good job with it.
Prior to that, I did a film with Val Kilmer called ‘The Traveler,’ which is a horror movie that’ll be coming out before Halloween. That was a crazy all-night shoot in an insane asylum. That was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever done.
“Then I did this really cool feature that we’re hoping to get into Sundance called ‘Hit and Strum,’ with Michelle Harrison, a lovely actress from Vancouver, and Kirk Caouette. A true independent film. I play her fiancée in that. I’m the third lead in that. We did that in September.
“Then I just produced a short that we shot on 35, called ‘A Fine Young Man’ with myself, this young lady, Ally Burton, a good friend of mine, Wes Salter, and this kid Kevin Funk, an up-and-coming young director from Emily Carr [University]. It’s a 12-minute short. I co-produced it and I’m in it. It’s a period piece set in circa 1962. We’re going to finish that up and submit it to the Toronto Film Festival. That’s cool to be part of that. It’s a really cool premise, really cool story. Hopefully it’ll get in. And watch out for this kid, Kevin Funk, because he’s going to do a lot of neat stuff.”
… ON LIFE
“Life is great out here. I love being in Vancouver. I miss LA a little bit and see what’s going on. But my sweetheart’s up here. Life is good. I miss Stargate. I don’t know what’s going to happen with [the movie].
“It’s really flattering, to know that you can have that sort of an impact with a television series is crazy. Have a character with that compelling nature. I never had an idea of it before this genre. It’s a special genre, it really is. Some people watch football, some people watch soccer, some people watch sci-fi.
… ON ‘CONAN‘
“I’m so happy! I was with Jason [Momoa] and Joe Flanigan in Australia when he got the HBO series. I was with him when he got that. And then he called me when he got ‘Conan.’ We had a long chat before he went off to shoot it just a couple of weeks ago. I’m just so happy for him. Him and I are really good friends and I’m just jazzed. It’s just perfect. When I heard that I’m like, ‘Of course!’ I’m just so happy for him.”
… ON HIS OTHER CASTMATES
“I know David’s [Hewlett] directing something in Europe right now. That’s pretty cool. He’ll do a great job at it. I can see lots of that coming his way. He’s got a great mind for it.
“I talked to Rachel [Luttrell] a long time ago. I haven’t seen her lately. I think she’s doing well. I saw Joe not too long ago down at a Creation convention before Christmas, and Martin Gero was there as well. I think everyone’s doing well. They’re doing their own thing.”
… ON THE OLYMPICS
“I was here the whole time. “It was amazing. The thing about the traffic is you knew it was going to happen so you just avoided it. You kind of took other routes around town. I did that and it was not a problem. Actually a lot of people were so afraid to drive that the traffic wasn’t that bad. Nobody even bothered. It was a ghost town sometimes. I’m flying up to the airport. Not a problem!
“The atmosphere … No offense, but when Canada won that gold medal game against the US it was insane. The vibe in Vancouver is something I’ll never, ever forget. The whole city erupted. It was an amazing experience to be around for it.
“I went and saw a few of the games. I saw Germany play Belarus in a hockey game. We saw some short track speed skating. It was great to be a part of it, and I think Vancouver did a great job with it. It was a great vibe, and the weather for parts of it was spectacular. People were like, ‘Is it always like this here?’ ‘Not really!'”
… ON SGU
“I’ve never met any of the Stargate Universe cast. Honestly, only saw a part of one episode, and they were all covered in hazmat suits out in the ice. I couldn’t get a really good vibe for it. I hope it goes for a long time for them.
“I had a great run there and it was a great character I got to play. And I wish it to everybody else that’s on that show. I felt that it helped me a lot for my career. Beckett was such a great character, and I hope other actors be able to get a character like that and run it for a couple of years.”