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7 February 2011
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Interviews | LeVar Burton

What�s it like acting with a VISOR?

Picture It�s pretty much a living hell. Putting on the VISOR is a really interesting thing. 85 to 90 per cent of my vision is taken away when the VISOR goes on and so it made it very difficult to see and, in the beginning, it made it nearly impossible to navigate.

I bumped into everything the first season - Light stands, overhead microphones, cables at my feet - I tripped over it all, I walked and sometimes ran into walls and pieces of set. It was really, really hard. So it�s a sort of conundrum - the blind man, who puts on the VISOR and sees much more than everyone else around him, when the actor actually does that he�s turned into a blind person.

Then there was the pain. In the second season we re-designed the VISOR and made it heavier and the way we actually affixed it was that we screwed it, we literally screwed it into my into my head and so there were screws that we would turn and there were flanges on the inside that would press into my temples and so after fifteen or twenty minutes of that I got headaches. So I had a daily headache for about six years. Which was also no fun.

Rick Berman and I had many conversations, especially in those last couple of years. The VISOR is one of those ways that we immediately communicate to the audience the sort of level of technological sophistication in that 24th Century setting. And so he was really reluctant, you know, to give up one of one of those icons.

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