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After the massive success of “Stranger Things 4,” Gaten Matarazzo’s year hasn’t slowed down. The actor, 20, made his Broadway return in “Dear Evan Hansen,” proved himself as a rom-com leading man in “Honor Society” and voiced a lovable goofball in “My Father’s Dragon.” 

“It’s been a pretty wild year. Moving full-time to New York from where I grew up in New Jersey was a pretty big moment,” the actor tells Variety exclusively. “Now I get to be close to the work and art that I love so much. After ‘Stranger Things,’ this year was also a big shift back towards the theater and it really does feel like home. The start of 2023, I’ll be opening with the new Broadway cast of ‘Sweeney Todd’ and I couldn’t be more stoked.” 

Now that he’s got some downtime over the holidays, Matarazzo, a lifelong Nintendo fan, is teaming up with the brand to talk about a few of their latest titles he hopes to play during this festive season. 

“Just looking forward to some rest before the year starts off with a bang,” he tells Variety. “Sometimes having no plans and just hanging with friends and family is more enjoyable than doing anything big.” 

“My mom says I’m the worst person to shop for, because I never have a list or say that I want anything specifically,” the actor says, noting that he knows exactly what he’s giving out for presents this year. “I know I’ll be gifting ‘Pokémon Scarlet’ and ‘Pokémon Violet’ to friends and I’m ready to start playing it myself.” 

Matarazzo has been a longtime fan of the ‘Pokémon’ TV shows, but there’s one Nintendo franchise he thinks is ripe for a film adaptation: “I’m a huge ‘Legend of Zelda’ fan and I’ve always wanted to see a very visually and musically driven animated film. It might be challenging when most of the characters never speak, but to explore a vocally silent world where a story can be told visually and through score would be really cool.”