Gaten Matarazzo has become famous for his portrayal of the character Dustin Henderson on Netflix's "Stranger Things." The curly-haired sidekick has become a fan favorite for his comedic one-liners and love of chocolate pudding.
He may only be 14-years-old, but Matarazzo clearly has some top-notch acting skills and a diverse resume that includes TV and Broadway. So why does he say that it's so hard for him to get jobs?
While promoting the show in London, Matarazzo and his co-star Caleb McLaughlin, who plays Lucas Sinclair, sat down with BBC Radio 5 to discuss how they handle rejection in their careers.
The young star said he's lost out on "hundreds of jobs" and that it took him "two years to get his first part" when he began acting.
"The thing is, I knew why I was getting rejected," said Matarazzo. " A lot of kids don't know why it's happening and it's really troubling."
But the reason why is the real troubling part.
Matarazzo has cleidocranial dysplasia, a rare condition that affects the development of your teeth and bones.
"It was always because of my lisp, me being shorter, and having the teeth issue meant writers couldn't write in my disability because they had already written the script,” he said.
But "Stranger Things" proved that there's no need for a disability to get in the way of an actor getting cast in a specific role.
The Duffer Brothers, who created "Stranger Things," not only cast Matarazzo to be in the show — they included his disability as a trait for his character. The writers simply included a line of dialogue that explained what his condition is called and the characteristics behind it.
Matarazzo was clearly the best person to play Dustin. Who else could have delivered this line so perfectly?
Thankfully, Matarazzo didn't let those past experiences damper his drive to pursue acting.
"I had such a desire to try it and do something new. I feel like it was just my own determination that kept me going," he said.