Gaten John Matarazzo III is an American actor. He began his career on the Broadway stage as Benjamin in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and as Gavroche in Les Misérables. He is best known for his role as Dustin in Stranger Things. Check out some awesome facts about this talented and brave young actor!
1. He was born on born September 8, 2002.
2. He grew up in Little Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey.
3. He has an older sister and a younger brother.
4. Matarazzo has cleidocranial dysplasia, a trait he shares with his Stranger Things character.
5. He uses dentures as a result of his condition, and uses his celebrity status to raise awareness about it. Matarazzo is undergoing oral surgery, starting from October 2017, to create natural teeth.
6. Matarazzo uses his platform to promote on Cleidocranial dysostosis awareness and fundraise for CCD Smiles, an organization that helps cover costs of oral surgeries for those suffering from the defect.
8. Matarazzo has also started a line of t-shirts whose proceeds will go to CCD Smiles.
9. On his social media sites, Matarazzo actively notifies his followers of how to donate to CCD Smiles and different events he will participate in. Recently, his sister also started a Facebook campaign to raise money for the organization.
10. Earning his most recognized role as Dustin Henderson in the hit Netflix series Stranger Things, he has also been seen on the Broadway stage in Les Misérables and Priscilla.
11. His parents are Heather Matarazzo and Gaten Matarazzo Sr. and he has siblings named Sabrina and Carmen who have acted in television commercials.
12. Gaten is also credited as having starred in an episode of the mystery crime series,The Blacklist. If you’re unfamiliar, the series also stars James Spader!
13. He may be new to the silver screen, but he’s got a lot of experience on stage! According to Matarazzo’s mother, Heather, he toured with Les Misérables in 2013 and appeared on Broadway in the same show from March 2014 – March 2015.
14. When you work with young actors you have the risk of running into problems, specifically puberty problems. According to moviepilot.com, Gaten’s voice changed so drastically over the course of production that the sound team wasn’t able to use him for additional dialogue after filming wrapped.
15. The 13-year-old is a huge sci-fi fan! He told Broadly.Vice.com that he was super excited to learn he got the role for Stranger Things, since it’s “right up his alley”, and even mentions his all-time favorite movie is the Star Wars series!
16. He does not have collarbones and still has his baby teeth, which causes him to speak with a lisp.
17. He had been rejected for acting jobs for two years because of his disability.
18. The Duffer brothers, who created “Stranger Things,” decided to embrace Gaten’s cleidocranial dysplasia and gave the funny and lovable Dustin the same condition.
19. He was awarded with the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
20. He started his career when tagging along while his sister interviewed with a prospective manager, who asked him if he wanted to give acting a try.