By, Surabhi Ashok
Most of you may know Gaten Matarazzo through his character Dustin Henderson in the popular Netflix TV series “Stranger Things”. However, did you know that the 19-year-old actor grew up in our very own New Jersey, in Little Egg Harbor Township itself?
Gaten Matarazzo began his career in acting very young, playing Benjamin in the Broadway musical “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” in 2011 and the character Gavroche/Petit Gervais in the Broadway musical “Les Misérables in 2014. He has portrayed one of the main characters Dustin Henderson in the television show “Stranger Things” since 2016, returning for each season. The fourth season is scheduled to come out in two sets, the first part releasing worldwide on May 27, 2022 and the second on July 1. This science fiction series details a group of friends discovering supernatural forces and unraveling different government mysteries after a young boy suddenly disappears in a small town in 1980s Indiana. Starring alongside Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, Caleb McLaughlin, and more, Gaten Matarazzo is part of a show that has received critical acclaim from being nominated for many Primetime Emmy Awards to getting four Golden Globe Awards. He himself won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series and a Shorty Award for Best Actor.
In addition, Matarazzo is the host of his very own Netflix series called “Prank Encounters”, in which ordinary people are unknowingly recorded and subjected to various scares orchestrated by the actor himself. Aside from “Prank Encounters”, Matarazzo has also been in “The Angry Birds Movie”, “Zach’s Lie”, “Hump”, “The Finn”, various commercials, and even a Katy Perry and Green Day music video.
Even with all this time on screen, Matarazzo still graduated from Pinelands Regional High School in Tuckerton, New Jersey. His presence in the state ranges from having taken a summer job at a local eatery during the pandemic and performing with his rock band, Work in Progress, at various venues like The Stony Pony in Asbury Park. That’s right, he can sing too!
More towards his personal life, Gaten Matarazzo has been open about being born with cleidocranial dysplasia or CCD. The condition mostly results in poorly developed collarbones, abnormal teeth, and a shortened height. Because of his CCD, Matarazzo was rejected from some acting jobs but eventually overcame that obstacle. Matarazzo’s character on “Stranger Things” was even modified to have the condition as well.
Because of his own experience with CCD, Matarazzo fundraises for the organization CCD Smiles in order to help cover costs of oral surgeries. He’s done this by starting his own line of shirts and donating the proceeds he gets to the organization.
Gaten Matarazzo is a true NJ star, living in Little Egg Harbor Township with his parents, sister, and brother when he isn’t filming his hit show “Stranger Things”.
https://www.phillyvoice.com/gaten-matarazzo-wawa-stranger-things-new-jersey-manchester-police/ | https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/gaten-matarazzo-32665.php
https://www.phillyvoice.com/stranger-things-gaten-matarazzo-to-perform-at-starland-ballroom/ | https://bestofnj.com/features/entertainment/things-didnt-know-gaten-matarazzo-stranger-things/
By, Surabhi Ashok