'Stranger Things' Gaten Matarazzo Opens Up About His Disability & Makes The Internet Proud
Stranger Things, Netflix's smash summer hit, boasted a wealth of buzz-worthy performances, from the triumphant return of Winona Ryder to the introduction of Meryl-Streep-in-training Millie Bobby Brown. But the actor who made the largest impression on the hearts of viewers was Gaten Matarazzo, who played sweet, dorky Dustin. Recently, Gaten Matarazzo opened up about his disability, cleidocranial dysplasia, and the internet responded with an outpouring of love.
Matarazzo spoke about his disability in an interview with his co-stars on The Jonathan Ross Show, describing it as:
He went on to say that he just wanted to "raise awareness for it and let people know that it’s not something that you should be afraid of showing.”
He's certainly succeeded in raising awareness, in large part because the Stranger Things creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, wrote the disability into the show for Matarazzo's character. (At one point, he even explains it for the millionth time to the bullies calling him "Toothless.")
Ever since the show premiered, Matarazzo has been receiving messages from other real-life people with the condition, saying how much they appreciate the visibility he's brought to it. He told The Daily Beast,
Matarazzo recently told BBC Radio 5 Live that his cleidocranial dysplasia caused him to lose out on many roles before landing Stranger Things, which is crazy because not only is he effortlessly winning, but man, this kid can sing like an angel.
Bet those casting directors who passed on him before are kicking themselves now.
And the Internet may be a notoriously brutal place, filled with trolls and venom, but Matarazzo is getting some well-deserved love from the majority of users on social media:
2) gaten matarazzo— hannah (@touchedpete) September 24, 2016
•open about his disability
•sweetest boy in the world
•loves his fans
No, you LIVED! YOU'RE SO GOOD! https://t.co/4CRcDubLg4— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) September 22, 2016
Oh, Gaten. Your fans would for sure go into the Upside Down for you.