Stranger Things’ Gaten Matarazzo Dislikes Jello, Loves Candy Land

Photographed by Danielle Kosann

The long-anticipated release of Stranger Things’ second season this Friday is our own personal holiday. While we can’t necessarily take the day off to binge watch, we did the next best thing: We sat down with a few of our favorite boys from the show (Finn Wolfhard was yesterday!), and though they’ve got plenty on their plate between fighting Demogorgons and finding Eleven, they found time to become honorary Potatoheads.

Today’s superstar is Gaten Matarazzo, who plays the ever-lovable Dustin on the show. We hung out in Central Park with the young actor, who insisted we go on a dog scavenger hunt; an activity that basically consisted of petting every dog we came across. Can you think of a better way to spend an afternoon? Turns out Matarazzo doesn’t like Jello and treasures an old Candy Land board with a soda stain on it…we love this kid, and so will you (though you probably do already). 

From start to finish what would be your ideal food day?

Oatmeal for breakfast, egg salad for lunch, penne with a vodka sauce for dinner, and snacks would be guacamole or fruit.

What foods do you really like and which do you strongly dislike?

I really like my mom’s mac’n’cheese and Grandpa’s pizza. I dislike Jello and tomatoes. 

When did you know that you wanted to be an actor? Did you ever want to be anything else?

I have been acting since I was seven and my sister got me into it. If I could be anything, it would be Spider-Man. 

Did you have any actor role models in particular?

Chris Pratt.

Have things been different for you in school since you started the show? Amongst your classmates?

Yes, it was a big thing at first, but then everyone realized I’m just me. 

What’s your favorite subject in school?

History.

Your least favorite subject?

Math.

How are you similar to your character on Stranger Things? How are you different?

I have many similarities with my character. We both have a pretty sarcastic sense of humor. I think the main difference between Dustin and I is that Dustin never tries to be funny while it’s kind of a hobby of mine.

Do you ever get scared while filming?

No.

Are you guys very close? What do you do when you hang out, outside of filming? 

We are good friends, but on set, we are either filming or in school. We travel a lot together to do promo for the show. 

When you were growing up, did you have your own personal demogorgon, in other words something either real or not real you were really scared of?

I can’t recall anything that truly scared me when I was younger. I think the closest thing I can come to would be the Thriller music video when Michael transformed into a werewolf.

You love dogs! Can you give us some good dog name ideas for our next puppy?

Juno, Molly, Chunk, Cooper.

Do you have a favorite app, what is it and why do you love it?

Probably YouTube. I find most of my entertainment there.

Do you have a favorite musical? What is it and why?

Phantom of the Opera because it is a vocally demanding role, and has a very compelling, haunting story.

What things outside of school and acting do you love?

I love video games, and that goes beyond just thinking that they’re fun. I have a little obsession with smaller indie games made by only a few people. I find them to be true works of art. 

What was your favorite movie growing up?

Saving Private Ryan

What are your favorite items in your closet right now?

I have an old board of Candy Land in my closet that I think is pretty cool. There’s a soda stain on it.

Your favorite dinner to eat or order in at home…

I love the food from my grandfather’s pizzeria.

If you could put any quote on a t-shirt or a hat and wear it, what would the quote be? 

For a T-shirt: “I hate T-shirts,” and for a hat: “I hate hats.”

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5 thoughts on “Stranger Things’ Gaten Matarazzo Dislikes Jello, Loves Candy Land

  1. He is truly an amazing kid and seriously to all he is exactly as he seems. His entire family is the best of the best. I have known Gaten his whole life and without a doubt one of the most amazing and genuine kids around. He is just Gaten. Keep up the good work kiddo. We are all proud of you. Talent runs in the Matarazzo blood. All of them are amazing kids.

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