- Full Name Gaten Matarazzo
- Occupation Actor, Voiceover actor
- Nationality American
- Birthplace Little Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, USA
- Birth Date Sep 08, 2002
- Age 21 Years, 2 Months
“I’m a kid who grew up in a small town and started acting when he was seven for no reason and got lucky. Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming. I feel like some people, especially child stars, act out because they don’t know how to handle the pressure.”
Gaten Matarazzo | BiographyKnown For Broadway Productions like Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and Les Misérables
After the theater, Gaten Matarazzo made his first TV appearance as Finn in an episode of 'The Blacklist' in 2015. Then, he landed his breakout role as Dustin Henderson in the popular Netflix horror sci-fi series 'Strangers Things' in 2016. Ever since the actor has been a regular cast member of the series.
Gaten Matarazzo is an American actor prominently recognized for playing Dustin Henderson in a widely acclaimed Netflix supernatural sci-fi series ‘Stranger Things.’
Who Is Gaten Matarazzo?
Gaten Matarazzo, in full Gaten John Matarazzo, began his acting career on Broadway, where he played Benjamin in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and Gavroche in Les Misérables. He shot to superstardom after starring Dustin Henderson in Netflix’s horror sci-fi series Stranger Things in 2016. In 2019, he became the host and executive producer of Netflix’s horror-themed hidden camera streaming prank show, Prank Encounters.
Born in New Jersey, USA, on 8 September 2002, Gaten Matarazzo grew up in Little Egg Harbor Township. He was titled after his father, Gaten Matarazzo Sr. He was born in a mixed family background of Italian, English, Hungarian, Finnish, and Scottish descent. He has two siblings.
Matarazzo attended Tuckerton’s Pinelands Regional High School. He intended to go to college, but his job was already going well, so he opted to attend film school instead. He explained, “College is something I’ve always said I wanted to do, but you’re going there to get a piece of paper that says you can get a job, but if I’m already working steadily and doing good work, it makes you question your priorities. Right now, I’m in my own film college: filming a TV show.”
After auditioning for two years, Matarazzo began acting when he was seven years old, but he got his first role only at age nine. His acting career began in 2011, performing on Broadway in the production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, as Benjamin. Matarazzo credited his older sister, Sabrina, for beginning his journey as a performer. “I started doing theater, musical theater, because of my sister. She’s a singer; she’s an actress, too,” he said.
In 2014, he performed as Gavroche/ Petit Gervais in the production of Les Misérables. He also wanted to play other characters in that production. He revealed, “In the Broadway world, I’ve always wanted to play Valjean in ‘Les Mis’ since I’ve already played Gavroche. I’d also like to play the Phantom of the Opera, but I haven’t really thought about any film characters. You’ve got to have a whole lot of training for the Phantom role, vocally.”
Matarazzo had previously assumed that he would spend the rest of his life in musical theater and had never thought about working on television. “And whenever I’d get auditions for TV, I’d be like, ‘Okay, whatever. I’ve got a lisp, so they’re not going to take me.’ And then I started doing this, and I guess it was my sister that got me into the acting thing,” he recalled.
After the theater, he made his first TV appearance as Finn in an episode of The Blacklist in 2015. Then, he landed his breakout role as Dustin Henderson in the popular Netflix horror sci-fi series Strangers Things in 2016. Ever since the actor has been a regular cast member of the series.
In an interview in 2017, he said, “When I was younger, I definitely thought musical theater was sort of more pure than film. I used to say I’d never go to film because we had to get it right the first time in musical theater. But then, of course, I started doing film and realized I loved it. Keep in mind that I was 8 years old when I said that.”
In 2019, Matarazzo voiced Bubba’s character in the animated comedy film The Angry Birds Movie 2. That same year, he became the host and executive producer of Netflix’s horror-themed hidden camera streaming prank show, Prank Encounters. Besides, he also featured on Fios by Verizon commercials, Katy Perry feat. Nicki Minaj’s 2017 music video ‘Swish Swish’ and Green Day’s 2020 music video ‘Meet Me On The Roof.’ The actor also formed a rock band titled Work in Progress with his brother Carmen.
In 2021, Matarazzo appeared in an episode of the Netflix children’s series Waffles + Mochi as Casey, the electrician. Furthermore, he will be the voice of Rami in the upcoming animated film Hump.
Matarazzo was born with cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD), a rare skeletal disorder that affects the development of teeth and bones. He shared his inborn trait with his Stranger Things character Dustin Henderson. In 2020, he underwent four hours of surgery where he extracted 14 supernumerary teeth to expose six of his adult teeth.
Matarazzo has been using his social media platforms to promote awareness of CCD and generate funds for CCD Smiles. The organization assists individuals with CCD to cover the costs of their dental surgery.
Awards and Nominations
For his performance in Stranger Things, Matarazzo received a couple of awards and several nominations. He won the ‘Young Entertainer Award’ in 2017 for Best Young Ensemble Cast - Television Series. He shared the award with his fellow actors, Millie Bobby Brown, Natalia Dyer, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, and Finn Wolfhard. In 2017, he also won the ‘Screen Actors Guild Award’ for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. In addition, he was nominated for the ‘IGN Award’ for Best Dramatic TV Performance in 2017. In 2018, he was nominated for the ‘MTV Movie + TV Award’ for Best On-Screen Team with his Stranger Things cast. Matarazzo was also nominated for the ‘Teen Choice Award’ for Choice TV Actor: Fantasy/Sci-Fi in 2018 and for Choice Summer TV Star: Male in 2019.
What is Gaten Matarazzo’s Net Worth?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Matarazzo has a net worth of $4 million as of August 2021. He earned $30,000 per episode in the second and $250,000 per episode of season three of Stranger Things.