Paul McGillion was born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. His family moved to Canada when he was two years old. He returned to Scotland with his family during his early teens, for a few years, while his father worked on the Shetland oil rigs. He has a degree in teaching and while studying at Brock University, was part of their national championship-winning wrestling team. After graduating, Paul began his career teaching theatre in Toronto, then made the move to Vancouver, where he has worked extensively in film, TV and theatre.
Paul taught scene study at the Vancouver Film School in 1998 and 1999. His Stargate connection started early in his career, when he played young Ernest Littlefield in the first season of “Stargate SG-1”, in the episode “The Torment of Tantalus”, as the first Tau’ri to pass through the Stargate after its burial. In 2004, he was cast in “Stargate Atlantis” as the Scottish medical doctor, Carson Beckett. Initially planned as a recurring guest star, Dr. Beckett appeared so frequently in the first season that he was promoted to the main roster for the second and third seasons. In later seasons Paul returned as a recurring character as Dr. Beckett’s clone.
Paul has appeared in films such as “The Traveler”, with Val Kilmer, “Confined”, with Emma Caulfield, and “The Deal”, with Christian Slater. He also starred in the 2003 multi-award winning film “See Grace Fly” and the short film “A Fine Young Man”, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to rave reviews and won the Leo Awards for Best Short Film and Best Lead Actor for Paul.
Paul expressed great interest in auditioning for the role of Montgomery Scott in the revival of the “Star Trek” film franchise in 2009, saying, “I grew up watching Star Trek and Scotty was my favourite character. It would be a great honour to follow in James Doohan’s footsteps.” He received the endorsement of Chris Doohan, the son of original Scotty actor, James Doohan, to play the role of Scotty in the film. Though the part ultimately went to Simon Pegg, Paul still appeared in the film in a different role.
Other roles of Paul’s have included appearances on “24”, “V”, “Sanctuary”, “Endgame”, “Alcatraz”, “Finge”, “Once Upon a Time”, “The Killing”, “Cult”, “Spooksville”, “R. L Stine’s The Haunting Hour”, “Supernatural”, “Tomorrowland”, “The Whispers”, “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce”, “Death Note”, “Unspeakable”, “The Flash” and “Frontier” alongside his Stargate Atlantis co-star, Jason Momoa.