Chicago, IL – August 24-26, 2007
This description, courtesy of a friend, is all about Paul McGillion’s panel.
First – Paul is a sweetie. As you can tell from the series - he's not a tall actor but very, very nice! He does talk with a slight accent which does go away for the most part but sneaks through every once in a while.
When it came time for the photo ops - if the female was about his height - his arms came around both front and back - he liked wrapped himself around the person. Unfortunately - I'm a little taller than he is so I just got the arm around the back. Sigh. So those going to the New Jersey convention - if you're the same height as PM - you're going to get a nice photo op!
Creation Con though is a royal pain in the arse! Well, Sunday was the power punch day as far as celebrities - Cliff Simon was there, then Paul and then Michael Shanks! So they had a combo photo opportunity with Shanks & Simon - happening during Paul's talk!! Now those of you who have been to these things know that when it comes to photo ops with Michael Shanks - the line does get very long! So I had to leave the talk early with Paul otherwise get stuck at the tail end of a long line! Not a happy camper here! I did though get to see like the first 20 minutes or so of Paul so I'll relate what I did see.
First - he's very appreciative of the fan efforts on his behalf! He said he doesn't know why they killed his character but he's happy to be back in the eps. Even though he couldn't talk about these eps! All he would say is that Beckett's return works very well and with his last appearance - it's very opened ended and it may could lead to his return. That's really all he said about it that I had heard. He also did say that it would help if everyone live watched the show rather than Tivo'ing it or recording it for later watching. The ratings have to be really strong for Atlantis to make it into a fifth season and that could also help his character come back.
He mentioned that he has two degrees (although he didn't say in what) and that he was a teacher before becoming an actor. He comes from a family of seven kids with him being the sixth one and the only actor in the family. He related a funny story with his father when he first started acting. He told his father he was going to try this and his father was like - but you have two degrees and you're a teacher. After doing X-Files, he calls his father again and his father asks how much he made doing this acting thing. He said he told his father and his father is like...oh - so you think I could be an actor? Then he related the story of telling his parents about getting the role in Atlantis and his father is like Star Trek and he's going - no dad, it's STARGATE - his father goes Star Trek and Paul goes no - Star GATE - Stargate Atlantis. His father warns him not to take that tone with him and here's his mother and she goes Star Trek? and he gave up in defeat and goes, yes mum - Star Trek. Of course they do know it is Stargate and have visited the set even.
He related that when he auditioned for this part, it was his idea for the character to be Scottish but that the producers weren't so sure about that - they were thinking more English. But he persisted as we know by calling the characterization an ‘intelligent Scotsman.’ When they did the first read through, no one in the cast knew that Beckett was going to be Scottish or that Paul could do the accent since he doesn't really speak with an accent as I said. So when he spoke the first line about sitting in the bloody chair, he said everyone in the room kinda turned and looked at him in amazement.
Paul related a practical joke Joe Flanigan did to him - and imitates Joe rather well too! It was during “Phantoms” and first he said, the stretcher he had to pick up with Hewlett was rather large in the handles and instead of being able to grasp it in his hand, he's like holding on with just his fingers. And then they get the heaviest extra around to lay in this thing! Of course he mentioned that Hewlett was whining about carrying this weight. He also was in full pack gear and that's when he said that Flanigan was putting rocks in the pack! So that by the end of the shoot, he's carrying a pack that weighs nearly 50 pounds! He said if he comes back, he's going to get Flanigan back - maybe by putting Nair in his hair stuff!
Then the first question was about the kiss in Duet. He said that Hewlett's lips are dry and rough and have you heard the word "halitosis"? Then he said and let it be known that HE KISSED ME!
And unfortunately, that's when I had to leave. Sigh.
Big thanks to Martha for permission to post this account, origianlly posted at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Stargate_Atlantis_Talk/
Some more blog accountings of this convention are at:
Oh, spoiler for season 4
Paul reportedly said Beckett's situation is being left open-ended, so if ratings are good, and the show gets renewed, Beckett could come back.