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Stranger Things’ Gaten Matarazzo Recalls a 40-Year-Old Mom Having a Crush on Him at 13

Gaten Matarazzo Recalls a 40 Year Old Mom Having a Crush on Him When He Was 13
Gaten Matarazzo Leon Bennett/Getty Images

Gaten Matarazzo has had a few interactions with fans that were “a little uncomfortable” — but there is one particular instance that takes the cake in his mind.

“I did one very recently — and this is not very funny, but the reactions around it were quite funny — where this woman in her 40s said straight up, ‘I’ve had a crush on you since you were 13,’” Matarazzo, 21, recalled on the Tuesday, May 28, episode of the “Inside of You” podcast. “And I was like, ‘That’s upsetting.’ I’m sure she just meant, ‘Aw, this kid’s cute.’”

However, Matarazzo said the woman doubled down on her remark. “She was like, ‘I’m aware of the age difference.’ And then I was like, ‘Alright.’ And her daughter was with her, and her daughter goes, ‘Mom, what the f–k?’ I swear to God,” he said, adding that the girl was around 13 years old.

When host Michael Rosenbaum asked if he started laughing at the exchange, Matarazzo said he “couldn’t.” Instead, the actor recalled looking over at his mother, who was sitting next to him. “That was rough,” he said.

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While he may have questionable interactions with fans from time to time, Matarazzo — who rose to stardom on Stranger Things — noted that he’s grateful for the series because of the opportunities that stemmed from it.

“Those careers are always about peaks and values. With this show it is quite clear and I am very well aware — and would like my professional team — to understand that I am very OK with Stranger Things being very likely the biggest thing I will ever do,” he said. “And it will most likely be the thing I am remembered for even if I consistently work after this.”

Gaten Matarazzo Recalls a 40 Year Old Mom Having a Crush on Him When He Was 13
Gaten Matarazzo Bruce Glikas/Getty Images

He continued: “And I am so cool with that as long as it facilitates happiness going forward, security and more work going forward. What more could I ask for? I don’t want to maintain a sense of relevance at this point when it isn’t even something I particularly enjoy that much.”

Stranger Things, which debuted in 2016, takes place in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, where a group of friends witness a series of supernatural events. The show is currently filming its fifth and final season, which is set to premiere in 2025.

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While speaking with Rosenbaum, Matarazzo, who stars as Dustin Henderson in the supernatural drama, noted that the series has also brought a lot of positives into his life – including financially.

“Of course I understand all the wonderful things it has done for me and my family. When it comes to financial security, that is just something that — growing up, it was a real struggle and then suddenly it is not. When you are that young, you can’t really reflect or understand how incredible that is for your family and you,” he explained. “But then there is a part of it where you are that young and you are suddenly the breadwinner for your family when you are 12. That is not something that is normal.”

After the Netflix show’s success, Matarazzo shared that cast members’ parents united to renegotiate their salaries because many stars were underage.

“We are pretty grateful. What is also interesting is that all of our parents were talking about what would be best for all of us collectively going forward,” he said. “Because they were the ones who were negotiating before we turned 18.”

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Matarazzo confessed that he didn’t know what went into getting a pay raise.

“Even now we are like, ‘I don’t know what the hell all of this means.’ We are still the age of college juniors who for the most part are living off of Ramen and Oreos. That hasn’t changed,” he said. “There’s still so much that we are learning from our parents day to day. So it’s really good that they were collectively quite close to each other and they could talk about what they could say going forward that would be best for all of us.”

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