Gaten Matarazzo Recalls ‘Upsetting’ Moment an Older Fan Said She’s Had a Crush on Him Since He Was 13

The "Stranger Things" star, now 21, detailed the uncomfortable encounter with a fan on the "Inside of You" podcast.

Gaten Matarazzo at an event, wearing black-frame glasses, a white shirt, and a casual red jacket
Leon Bennett / Getty Images
Gaten Matarazzo at an event, wearing black-frame glasses, a white shirt, and a casual red jacket

Gaten Matarazzo has had some interesting encounters with fans. 

The Stranger Things star, 21, recounted a “recent” uncomfortable interaction on Tuesday’s episode of the Inside of You podcast.

“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 told host Michael Rosenbaum per Us Weekly. “And I was like, ‘That’s upsetting.’ I’m sure she just meant, ‘Aw, this kid’s cute.’”

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The situation was made more awkward when the woman doubled down on her comment and then got called out by her teenage daughter.

“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, this girl must have been like 13,” he added.

Matarazzo did not specify what setting the incident took place in, but noted that his mother was seated next to him at the time of the encounter. He added that he “couldn’t” laugh at the exchange.

Despite that encounter, the young actor says he appreciates the opportunities Stranger Things has provided since its 2016 premiere. Notably, Matarazzo starred on Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen in 2016 and most recently the revival of Sweeney Todd last year, according to Playbill

He mentioned the financial stability the Netflix series brought him, especially considering his family’s past struggles.

“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 on the set of the final season of ‘STRANGER THINGS’

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“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’ fifth season went into production in January, per Netflix. The streamer has not confirmed a premiere date but rumors suggest that the series’ final season will arrive in 2025, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

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