Paul McGillion's Trek

Former Niagara resident Paul McGillion laughs about the first time he told his parents he was going to star in a new TV show called “Stargate Atlantis.”

Despite correcting them countless times, they thought he said “Star Trek.”

A few years later, he has both franchises on his resume.

The rugged, Scottish-born actor was seriously considered for the part of Scotty in the new “Star Trek” film, being directed by “Lost” creator J.J. Abrams. The part eventually went to British comic actor Simon Pegg (“Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz”), but Abrams was so impressed with McGillion’s audition he gave him another small role in the $160-million revamp, which hits theatres in May 2009.

McGillion has been in big productions before – “The X-Files,” “Smallville” – but nothing like this.

“It does feel huge,” he said from his parents’ home in Niagara-on-the-Lake this week, before starting work on Season 5 of “Stargate Atlantis.”

It’s about the only thing McGillion is allowed to say about the secretive production – he had to sign a 10-page confidentiality agreement when he joined the cast.

But he does promise it’ll be an amusing cameo for his fans.

He shares a scene with the new Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine), and his character doesn’t die – meaning he could return for the inevitable sequels.

Even if he doesn’t, McGillion is thrilled to be part of the hallowed sci-fi series.

“It’s something I’ll look back on and say, ‘That was neat to be part of that.’ It’s like being in a ‘Star Wars’ movie or something … even if you’re in a little bit of it, it’s a little part of history.”