“Stranger Things” star Gaten Matarazzo recalled one of the first premieres of the hit Netflix show. “Like three people” showed up, he told Cheddar, and “the only thing they asked was, ‘How’s Winona?’” He said the 1980s-set sci-fi drama, whose biggest star Winona Ryder had been largely out of the Hollywood spotlight for about two decades, was initially rejected by major networks that thought it was nothing more than a kids show. But the surprising popularity of “Stranger Things,” which is now preparing for production of its third season, runs parallel to Matarazzo’s own unexpected rise to fame. The 15-year-old who plays Dustin suffers from Cleidocranial Dysplasia (CCD), a genetic condition that impacts bone development. He was born without a collarbone. “I only have a tiny little piece of one,” he said. Matarazzo said the abnormality led to many rejections. But when he auditioned for this part, it became “one of the sellers that gave me the role in the first place.” “They want the characters to be relatable [and] unique, of course, and realistic.” Now, he tries to raise awareness for the condition. “I have a very mild case of it...a lot of people have it a lot harder than I do,” he said. And if his filming schedule weren’t enough, Matarazzo is part of a rock band, “Work In Progress,” which will be performing at West Hollywood’s Troubadour next month. For the full interview, [click here](https://cheddar.com/videos/stranger-things-star-gaten-matarazzo-on-shows-surprising-success).

More In Culture
Load More