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LeVar Burton's Star Trek Visor Was Way More Painful Than You Can Imagine

LeVar Burton's Geordi La Forge character was perhaps one of the most popular characters on "Star Trek: The Next Generation." This is a popularity that has endured for years, but also somewhat in part because of his other creative ventures, such as "Reading Rainbow." As many are aware, Geordi wore a visor that allowed his character to see comfortably. For Burton, however, the visor prop was anything but, and he actually often experienced severe headaches due to its placement on his head.

"Believe it or not, we screw this thing into my head," Burton said during an interview with Conan O'Brien in 1997. When asked how far the device is screwed into his head, Burton said it was just enough to cause pain. "Just enough to give me a migraine. No more than that." The reason for this method was obviously so that it would stay on during filming, particularly during intensive scenes where Burton had to move around a lot.

While this certainly doesn't sound ideal, especially considering that Burton portrayed the character for seven seasons, the annoyance of the device doesn't actually stop there. While wearing the visor, the actor's vision was ironically impaired as well.

Burton lost 80 percent of his actual vision while wearing the visor

During the interview with Conan O'Brien, LeVar Burton also revealed that he would lose something close to 80 percent of his actual vision while filming scenes with the visor in "Star Trek: The Next Generation." In a separate 2016 interview with CreativeLive, Burton revealed the visor presented a unique challenge for him, because he had to actually change the way he performed.

"There was a real gift of challenge in that role for me as an actor because I had come to really rely on my eyes, acting on film, as my go-to," Burton said. "It was my strong suit, it was the first tool in the bag that I would go to. Having my eyes covered ... really caused me to have to learn how to communicate without my eyes, so I know that the time I spent on 'Star Trek' made a much better actor out of me."

Between the pain and the loss of vision, it certainly doesn't seem like a fun time filming for Burton. However, the actor is also a big superfan of the "Star Trek" universe, so it was still ultimately a dream job for him. And it's hard to imagine that "Star Trek: The Next Generation" would be anywhere close to the same series without his unique talent attached to it.