Why Gaten Matarazzo Doesn't Want You to Compare His Stranger Things Mentors

Stranger Things' Dustin has multiple role models in his life, but that doesn't mean it's a competition—just ask the actor himself! See what Gaten Matarazzo told E! News about Eddie and Steve.

By Alli Rosenbloom, Daniel Trainor Jun 22, 2022 12:14 AMTags
Watch: Stranger Things Season 4: "Kids Will Have Nightmares"

Gaten Matarazzo is not interested in picking sides! 

The fourth season of Netflix's Stranger Things brought about a mentorship love triangle for Gaten's character Dustin in the form of Hellfire Club leader Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn) and former cool kid-turned-bestie Steve Harrington (Joe Keery). 

But before you get any ideas about who Gaten thinks means more to Dustin, he argues they both bring vital, yet different things into his life.

"Steve helps him gain confidence, which was something he never even dreamt of having in his life at all," Gaten told E! News. "Without Steve, he wouldn't have been able to get a girlfriend and be able to start working on his hair better and feel just a little bit more confident in himself about going into high school."

Who doesn't want a friend who gives good hairstyling advice?

On the flip side, metalhead newcomer Eddie, who invites Dustin into his Dungeons & Dragons group, taught Dustin about embracing his own tribe.

Stranger Things Season 4 Style Secrets

"Eddie's one of the first people to tell him, 'You don't necessarily need to change anything about yourself to feel confident and be accepted, and to feel like you're a part of something at school,'" Gaten said. "Like screw it, you don't need to to fit in, necessarily, when you can stand out with the people that like what you like and do what you do."

The on-screen mentorship between Dustin and Eddie mirrored a real-life friendship that blossomed off-screen between Dustin and Joseph.

"He's always so nervous on set about making sure that what he's doing fits in with the show and feels good and feels right," Gaten said about Joseph. "He's a very devoted, committed and careful actor. To work alongside him, it made me say, 'Oh, we're doing this.' It gets me into it because he's just incredible."


When Gaten isn't making one of biggest shows on TV, he's doing what many 19-year-olds are doing: playing video games!

"I'm traveling all the time so that's why I always use the Nintendo Switch," he said. "It's great because it's not bulky or anything, it travels well and still plays great usually. What baffles me is how, even though it's such a tiny console, it can run games as huge as [The Legend of ZeldaBreath of the Wild or [Kirby and the] Forgotten Land, which just came out."

It's not all fun and games, either. Gaten told us that things can sometimes get competitive—especially when his siblings and banana peels are involved.

"You can get the joint accounts [on the Nintendo Switch]. It's always really fun," he said. "Me and my siblings have always gotten a little bit too crazy when it comes to the Mario Kart situation. Fights have been had."

Red shells are serious business!

See how the things play out between Dustin, Steve and Eddie when the final two episodes of Stranger Things' fourth season drop July 1.

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