‘Stranger Things’ Star Gaten Matarazzo Says He Had Trouble Landing Roles Due To Rare Bone Disorder

Before starring in “Stranger Things”, Gaten Matarazzo’s rare bone condition stopped him from getting acting roles.

The 15-year-old was born with cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD), which affects his bone and teeth development, and for which People says Matarazzo has undergone two surgeries and four extractions.

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Appearing on “The Doctors” Wednesday, the young actor talked about the experience of being an actor with his condition.

“It’s one of the reasons why I haven’t been getting roles, because of my lisp, and the teeth situation, and my height,” Matarazzo said. “That affected pretty much everything. I would go three times a week for auditions all the time and get constant ‘no.’ ”

It wasn’t until he auditioned for “Stranger Things” that his condition actually helped him get cast.

“It really started out when I was stretching in the audition room,” Matarazzo explained. “I was just [stretches] and they were like ‘Wait, wait, wait what did you just do?’ and I said, ‘What? I’m stretching’ and they said ‘No, do it again’ and they said ‘Why do you do that? Your shoulders are touching.’ … So I started explaining what it was and how I had a condition from birth that affects my teeth and everything. That’s why I was missing teeth in the first season, and I still have my appliance in right now.”

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Matarazzo has also been working with non-profit CCD Smiles to raise awareness and support for people with the disorder.

“Right now what I am really trying to focus on is what I’m doing with ‘Stranger Things’, I mean it’s kind of taken up most of my time,” Matarazzo said, “and also I am doing what I can to see how I can make this organization grow and try and get this foundation out there.”

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