Stranger Things Star Is Terrified About The Show

Stranger Things' Gatan Matarazzo told Jimmy Fallon he's terrified over the ending of the show and having to go "freelance" again in order to find steady work.

By Sean Thiessen | Published

The life of Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo is about to get turned upside down. Netflix’s flagship series will film its fifth and final season this year, and Matarazzo has mixed feelings about ending his time as Dustin Henderson. As reported by Variety, the young star told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show that he feels “deep fear” as the series comes to a close.

Jimmy Fallon asked if the ending of Stranger Things was bittersweet, to which Gaten Matarazzo replied, “Of course it is. There’s kind of an excitement there because you always want to wrap it up and see how these characters are going to finally develop one last time, and how they’re going to finish their journeys. But also there’s like a deep fear.” 

“Not only has it been amazing, but it’s been pretty great job security for a while,” Matarazzo said. “Back to freelance.” Stranger Things has shaped life for Gaten Matarazzo and many of his castmates for nearly 10 years.

When asked how he wants Stranger Things to end, Gaten Matarazzo said, “I’d love to see a good launchpad for growth. I’d love to see these characters thrive and move on from the trauma they’ve endured over the past few years.”

Stranger Things has already been a launchpad for growth for the careers of its stars. Finn Wolfhard appeared in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Millie Bobby Brown has led two Enola Holmes films, Joe Keery starred alongside Ryan Reynolds in Free Guy, and Noah Schnapp will frighten audiences with the upcoming The Tutor.

Though he fears the unknown in life after Stranger Things, Gaten Matarazzo has already found success outside the hit show. He starred in last year’s Paramount+ original Honor Society, and lent his voice to The Angry Birds Movie 2. He will return to voice acting for next year’s Hump, an animated adventure about a camel crossing the Arabian desert to find his best friend.

Stranger Things is coming to an end, but the series is likely just the beginning for Gaten Matarazzo and the rest of its young stars. Most of the show’s cast is just getting started, and they are completely iconic. Stranger Things has been a cultural phenomenon since it debuted on Netflix in 2016, launching its stars into the spotlight practically overnight.

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The Duffer Brothers will be plenty busy after Stranger Things, and very well may bring back Hawkins alumni like Gaten Matarazzo for their next projects. The duo are at work on a Stranger Things spin-off, as well as adaptations of Death Note and Stephen King and Peter Straub’s The Talisman. The Duffer Brothers will continue their partnership with Netflix, producing under their Upside Down Pictures banner.

The ending of Stranger Things may leave Gaten Matarazzo temporarily unemployed, but for now, he will return to Broadway for a new production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Matarazzo teased the revival as a crowd-pleaser that made the classic show “bigger than ever.”

In addition to acting in Stranger Things, Gaten Matarazzo has devoted much time to CCD Smiles, a non-profit organization that specializes in the treatment of cleidocranial dysplasia, a condition Matarazzo (and his character Dustin) has. He has advocated for CCD on The Tonight Show and raises money through his family’s bakery, Joe’s Bake Shop.