Stranger Things’ Gaten Matarazzo says 40-year-old fan told him ‘I’ve had a crush on you since you were 13’

Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo has recalled a wildly inappropriate fan encounter at a recent meet-and-greet.

Matarazzo, 21, has played Dustin on the Netflix juggernaut since 2016. Now heading into its fifth and final season, the actor was just 13 when he appeared in the series debut.

Asked on a recent episode of the Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum podcast if he’d had any funny funny fan interactions over the years, Matarazzo spoke about the moment a mother confessed she had a crush on him in front of her own daughter.

“I did [an event] 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,’” he recounted.

“And I was like, ‘That’s upsetting.’ I’m sure she just meant, ‘Aw, this kid’s cute.’ But then she doubled down.

“She was like, ‘I’m aware of the age difference.’ And then I was like, ‘Alright,’” he continued. “And her daughter was with her, and her daughter goes, ‘Mom, what the f***?’ I swear to God.”

Remembering that his mother had been sitting next to him during the entire interaction, he called the moment “insane”.

Matarazzo added that he’s also had a few fans grab his butt while taking photos with him.

Gaten Matazarrazo called the ineraction ‘upsetting’
Gaten Matazarrazo called the ineraction ‘upsetting’ (Getty Images)

“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 acknowledged on the podcast. “And it will most likely be the thing I am remembered for even if I consistently work after this.

“And I am so cool with that as long as it facilitates happiness going forward, security and more work going forward,” he said. “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.”

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Earlier this year, Matarazzo issued a request that the showrunners kill off more characters.

“This show would be so much better if the stakes were much higher, like at any moment, any of these kids can kick it. I feel like we’re all too safe,” he said at a February fan convention.

Stranger Things season five will be released on Netflix in 2025.

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