Gaten Matarazzo has a 'deep fear' of Stranger Things ending: 'It's been pretty great job security'
For Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo, the loss of a stable job is even more terrifying than Vecna himself.
During a recent Tonight Show visit, the actor told host Jimmy Fallon that he harbors a "deep fear" about the Netflix juggernaut coming to an end. Matarazzo and his castmates are set to shoot the fifth and final season of Stranger Things this summer, and he acknowledged that the impending conclusion feels bittersweet.
"It's something that's so important to all of us and has just been essential to the growth that I've had over all of my teenage years into my 20s," Matarazzo said. "It's the defining aspect of the past 10 years of my life, practically the past decade."
He added, "There's kind of an excitement there because you always want to wrap it up and see how these characters are going to finally develop one last time, and how they're going to finish their journeys. But also there's like a deep fear. Not only has it been amazing, but it's been pretty great job security for a while. Back to freelance."
Matarazzo has portrayed Dustin Henderson since season 1 of the sci-fi series, which follows a group of young friends (played by Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, and Sadie Sink) who discover that supernatural forces lurk beneath the surface of their small town. Created by brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, the show also stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Joe Keery, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Priah Ferguson, and Brett Gelman.
Tina Rowden/Netflix Natalie Dyer, Joe Keery, Gaten Matarazzo, Maya Hawke, Sadie Sink, and Caleb McLaughlin on 'Stranger Things'
Season 5 will wrap up the story of big bad Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) exerting his wrath on the suburban town of Hawkins, Ind., and Matarazzo said he'd love for the final episodes to be a "good launchpad for growth" for the beloved characters. "I'd love to see these characters thrive and move on from the trauma they've endured over the past few years."
The shows' writers, for their part, teased Tuesday that the final season "is like if season 1 and 4 had a baby, and then that baby was injected with steroids."
Season 5 is like if season 1 and 4 had a baby. And then that baby was injected with steroids.
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) March 21, 2023
Matarazzo has appeared in a number of films between seasons of Stranger Things, including The Angry Birds Movie 2, My Father's Dragon, and Honor Society. He's also set to return to his theatrical roots with a role in the Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd.
Watch Matarazzo's Tonight Show interview above.