‘Stranger Things’ star Gaten Matarazzo reveals he has a rare genetic disability, raises awareness through his acting

‘Stranger Things’ star Gaten Matarazzo reveals he has a rare genetic disability, raises awareness through his acting

Gaten Matarazzo is one of the famous kids from the hit Netflix TV series, Stranger Things. Before his role as Dustin in Stranger Things, the 14-year-old New Jersey native started his career in 2011 as an actor in the Broadway stage and has appeared in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Les Miserables.

In a guest appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show, Matarazzo reveals that he’s suffering from a rare genetic condition called cleidocranial dysplasia. A condition which affects the growth of the teeth and bones.

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“It’s a condition where you’re born without your collarbones,” he told Ross. “I don’t have any. It affects your facial growth, your skull growth, your teeth — that’s why I don’t have any [teeth], these are fake right here. I have teeth, but they’re all baby teeth. I need a lot of surgery.”

According to Mic.com, Matarazzo also revealed in a radio interview that somehow because of his disability, it was hard for him to get a role and it took him two years to get his part.

“It was always because of my lisp and me being shorter and having the teeth issue meant writers couldn’t write in my disability because they had already written the script,” he said.

Uproxx said in their article that Gaten Matarazzo was fortunate to have meet the Duffer Brothers, directors of Stranger Things, because they even worked Matarazzo’s condition into the show. Now that he’s one of Hollywood’s precious teen talents, the star is now using the platform to raise awareness of his condition.

Gaten Matarazzo
Sourc: Giphy

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“I have a really mild case and a lot of people have it much worse than I do. I feel like putting it into the show is really raising awareness for it, and I’m lucky that mine was very mild. But now that it’s in my genes, which it usually is passed down through genes — it wasn’t for me, it just happened. So now that it’s in my genes, I have a 50 percent chance of passing it down in my genes and it could be much worse for them,” the young actor said.

Photo courtesy: Lowtrucks/Wikimedia