Gaten Matarazzo, who plays Dustin on “Stranger Things,” has a disability ― and he’s not ashamed of it.
In the short clip above you can hear the 14-year-old actor speak frankly about his condition. He tells host Jonathan Ross that he does not have collarbones and still has his baby teeth, which causes him to speak with a lisp.
But he’s totally OK with it.
I just want to raise awareness for it and let people know that it’s not something that you should be afraid of showing. Gaten Matarazzo
“I just want to raise awareness for it,” he told Ross. “And let people know that it’s not something that you should be afraid of showing.”
Gaten boasts this opinion despite being rejected for acting jobs for two years because of his disability.
“It was always because of my lisp, and me being shorter and having the teeth issue, that was always the reason they couldn’t cast me,” he told the radio show BBC 5 Live. “Because they couldn’t write in a disability into the show because they had already written the script.”
Yet, the Duffer brothers, who created “Stranger Things,” decided to embrace Gaten’s cleidocranial dysplasia and gave the funny and lovable Dustin the same condition.
He told The Daily Beast:
“When they wrote it into the show, I [started] getting a lot of messages and emails online from people who have the condition, saying that it really helps them come out of their shells a little bit.”
This kid really is as sweet as chocolate pudding.
To see the full interview, watch the clip below: