The fourth season of “Stranger Things” is back in production after a pandemic-forced hiatus and according to star Gaten Matarazzo, that wait will end up being worth it for horror fans, as this installment of The Duffer Brothers’ sci-fi series is the scariest one yet.
“We’re getting back,” the actor, who plays Dustin on the Netflix hit, told Jimmy Fallon Tuesday’s “Tonight Show.”
“But you’ve told me that this season, that you know of, that you’ve shot so far, you told me it might be the scariest one,” the NBC late-night host said.
“Oh, yeah. That’s the one thing that I’ve noticed,” Matarazzo confirmed. “I was reading it and I’m like, ‘Ah, they’re going for it this year. That’s pretty cool.’ So I don’t know if the toddlers are going to enjoy it as much this time going around.”
“Maybe you release it in segments and by the time they can see it they’ll be 4 or 5 years old,” Fallon responded, with Matarazzo quipping: “Yeah! I think it’d be great. At the rate we’re going, they might be like 12.”
OK, if you’re confused about the “toddlers” jokes there, we’ll back up to earlier in the interview, when the 18-year-old actor told Fallon about his summer job. Apparently, Matarazzo got a little too good at paying “Mario Kart” during the pandemic, “to the point where I knew it was sad,” so he became a food runner at the restaurant where his siblings, cousins and friends worked in New Jersey when they opened for outdoor seating over the summer.
And yes, people recognized him as Dustin from “Stranger Things,” even though he did his best to hide his identity.
“Well I had like a disguise. I was incognito, which was fun,” Gaten said. “I had the restaurant shirt on. I had a hat that was for the restaurant. I had to tuck all my hair into it. And I had one of the sleeve masks, the one you pull over your whole face, and I just tucked that into the hat. So just my eyes, it was just my eyes. And people would still recognize me. I would go to tables and like drop food and be like [deep voice], ‘There you go. Enjoy.’ I wouldn’t even let them hear my voice. And people would just look at me for a second, squint like that, and be like, ‘Are you Gaten Matarazzo?’ Three year olds! Like toddler people.”
Yes, toddler, Gaten says.
“There are toddlers who love ‘Stranger Things.’ They think it’s the bomb.com… It’s a little scary. It’s like people who don’t speak most words will look at me and just be like, ‘Dustin.'”
No premiere date has been set yet for “Stranger Things 4,” so for right now, Matarazzo’s toddler fan club has time to grow up a bit before the new episodes launch.
Watch the full interview in the video above.