Spark the Conversation

An interview with LeVar Burton, a.k.a. Geordi La Forge

January 31, 2017
Posted By: TELUS Spark
In the final installment of our “If you could ask a Star Trek celebrity any question” series, we spoke with LeVar Burton, known for his role as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He shared with us his acting background and the Star Trek takeaways that resonate with him the most.

TELUS Spark: What has Star Trek taught you about real life? 

LeVar Burton: Star Trek and more specifically Gene Roddenberry's vision for the future has had a significant impact on shaping my worldview and personal philosophy. As an avid fan of TOS in the 60s and 70s, it was critically formative to have been exposed to Gene's assumptions that in the future we would resolve all "ism" issues: racism, sexism, nationalism, fascism, classism, etc. The idea that humanity would fully embrace the reality of infinite diversity in infinite combination (IDIC), and a necessary respect for all of the diversity the universe has to offer, is what got me hooked as a kid.

TS: What was the first “gig” that you had and how did you get started in the business?

LB: ROOTS was actually my first professional audition. I was in my second year as a Theater major at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. It was a pretty amazing start in the business. My very first day on the set, the legendary Cicely Tyson and Maya Angelou played my mother and grandmother, respectively. 

TS: Which Star Trek device do you wish was in your home (other than the Replicator, because that’s too obvious)? 

LB: It's a toss up between the Transporter and the Holodeck! I travel quite a bit and there are days when I'd just LOVE to be beamed to my destination. However, being the first kid on my block with a Holodeck would be the absolute coolest thing ever!

Thank you, LeVar, for answering our questions. We’ll see you this Friday at the launch event for Star Trek: The Starfleet Academy Experience!