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Sometimes it’s hard to separate between the iconic character an actor plays and his actual persona. Sci-fi and comic conventions are a great way to meet your idols and see their more personal side, and one actor who has been showing that he is more than just the roles he plays is Wil Wheaton.

Wheaton is a fan favorite at cons and is mostly known for his roles as Wesley Crusher on ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ and parodying himself on ‘The Big Bang Theory’. But it’s moments like the ones below, however, that really make you see that there’s a big heart behind this big lug.

At the Calgary Comic Expo, a woman asked Wheaton to explain to her newborn daughter why it was awesome to be a nerd. As the mother videotaped his response to show to her daughter when she was older, Wheaton began to eloquently describe the feelings that we, as genre loving fans, feel about the subject:

“Your mother asked me to tell you why it’s awesome to be a nerd. That’s an easy thing for me to do because that’s who I am…When I was a little boy, people really teased us about that, and made us feel like there was something wrong with us for loving those things… Now that I’m an adult, I’m kind of a professional nerd, and the world has changed a lot. I think a lot of us have realized that being a nerd, or being a geek (another word you’ll hear and I kind of use those terms interchangeably), is not about what you love. It’s about how you love it… So, there’s going to be a thing in your life that you love. I don’t know what that’s going to be … and it doesn’t matter what it is. The way you love that, and the way that you find other people who love it the way you do is what makes being a nerd awesome.”

There’s much more to Wheaton’s speech which you can watch below, but what resonates throughout the entire video is that the guy really knows the heart of what being a nerd is… and that’s why we love him so!