Stranger Things Star Gaten Matarazzo on His Series-Ending "Deep Fear"

Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo discusses the series ending its run, the "deep fear" he has that comes from it, and much more.

With filming on the fifth and final season of Ross Duffer & Matt Duffer's Stranger Things expected to begin towards the beginning of the summer, we've been hearing from a number of familiar faces regarding the global phenomenon coming to an end, how they're feeling about it, and what they're hoping for out of the series before the credits roll for the last time. Following up on what David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, and Millie Bobby Brown had to share, Gaten Matarazzo covered a number of those very topics on Monday night during his visit with Jimmy Fallon on NBC's The Tonight Show.

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(L to R) Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson and Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

"It's interesting to constantly just be reminded how much people have resonated with it," Matarazzo shared with Fallon regarding the impact that the series has had on so many for so long. "I mean, 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. It's the defining aspect of the past 10 years of my life, practically the past decade." As for what saying goodbye to the series means, Matarazzo explains how it's a mix of emotions – as well as some very real-world concerns.

"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," he continued. So what would Matarazzo like to see coming out of the fifth season for him, his on-screen alter-ego, and the characters? "I'd love to see a good launchpad for growth. I'd love to see these characters thrive and move on from the trauma they've endured over the past few years," he offered.

Matt & Ross Duffer Discuss Stranger Things 5

Ross on Having "Quite a Bit More" of the "Overall Plan" & "Backstory" to Reveal: "I remember season one, we were just amazed that Netflix was letting us do this at all, but season two was when we really, with the writers, we developed an overall plan and a backstory for all of this and make sure that, with the Upside Down, everything about what it was." Though the fourth season offered quite a few answers, Ross says "we do have quite a bit more to get in. But just as important as the supernatural, we have so many characters now – most who are still living – and it's important to wrap up those arcs. A lot of these characters have been growing since season one, so it's a balancing act between giving them time to complete their character arcs and also tying up loose ends and doing our final reveals."

Matt on Making Netflix Execs Cry During 2-Hour Final Season Pitch Meeting: "We did get our executives to cry, which I felt was a good sign that these executives were crying. The only other times I've seen them cry were like budget meetings [crowd laughs]."

Season 5 Does Right by "The Lifeblood of 'Stranger Things'" – Levy: "As a witness and having been in that two-hour pitch room and having read this first script – I'm paralyzed with fear that I'll spoil anything, but I will say the thing about these Duffer Brothers is that even though the show has gotten so famous and the characters have gotten so iconic, and there's so much about the '80s and the supernatural and the genre, it's about these people, it's about these characters. Season five is already so clearly taking care of these stories of the characters because that's always been the lifeblood of 'Stranger Things.'"

Season 5 Will Be "A Culmination" of Previous Seasons' Pop Culture Themes/References – Ross: The final season will be "a culmination of all of the seasons, so it's sort of got a little bit from each, whereas before each season was so distinctly – three, this is our big summer blockbuster season with our big monster; four was the psychological horror. I think that what we're trying to do is go back to the beginning a little bit in the tone of [season] one, but scale-wise it's more in line with what [season] four is. Hopefully, it's got a little bit of everything."

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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