Gaten Matarazzo plays Dustin in Stranger Things. Fans of the show immediately noticed that Matarazzo, like the other kids in the show, was perfectly cast to play the weird band of misfit outcast kids.
Dustin, tired of being picked on by the school bullies, tries to explain that he has cleidocranial dysplasia–a syndrome that Matarazzo actually has that was written into the show. And now he’s speaking out about it in a way that is truly remarkable.
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The Stranger Things kids were The Jonathan Ross Show last week. The clip below shows the poise that defines Matarazzo.
In it, he talks about cleidocranial dysplasia. “It’s a condition where you are born without your collarbones; I don’t have any,” Matarazzo said. “It affects your facial growth, your skull growth, it affects your teeth. That’s why I don’t have any – these are fake – I have teeth but they’re all baby teeth.”
Matarazzo then talks about heredity. He didn’t inherit cleidocranial dysplasia, but he has a good chance of passing it on to his children. It is a 50% chance. He speaks about this in a way that speaks volumes about his maturity.
“I just wanna raise awareness for it and let people know that it’s not something that you should be afraid of showing.”
As you might imagine, Matarazzo has faced discrimination in his chosen field of acting. Yet what makes him unique and distinctly different made him perfect for a role in Stranger Things.
If you’ve not watched Stranger Things yet, you’re not alone. The Netflix show is proving the power of shows created exclusivley for streaming services. Its growing fan base is drawn to the show for the distinctly Spielberg feel. It echoes the 1980s kitsch of The Goonies and E.T., but adds in an element of darkness that is distinctly X-Files.