Prank Encounters’ Host Gaten Matarazzo Reveals What Happens When a Prank Goes Wrong


Prank Encounters is coming back just in time for April Fools’ Day!

Hosted by Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo, season 2 of Netflix’s hidden camera prank show streams Thursday, April 1 and the scenarios are even more frightening, funny and elaborately over-the-top.

But do these hidden camera hijinks ever go terribly wrong?

“Oh yeah! For sure,” Matarazzo casually confirmed to ET during a virtual interview earlier this week. “Usually, anytime a prank goes wrong, it never is this big, dramatic fiasco. It’s very anticlimactic. It crumbles at the seams. Something happens, there’s a reveal that happens too early or a mark catches onto something they weren’t intended to catch on to that.”


“I don’t think anyone’s ever seen a camera, but sometimes they’ll catch on and a crew member will be spotted somewhere or something like that. And it’s very funny to me because while they’re all weirded out, everybody around them is like, ‘Ah, we’ll get them next time!'” the 18-year-old actor explained. “And all of a sudden, a set opens up and they’re like, ‘What is happening right now?’ Because then they look around and they’re like, ‘Who are they?!’ And [the crew] is like, ‘Oh yeah, you’re on a prank show. Sorry, it didn’t go as planned.'”

Matarazzo added that although the Prank Encounters episodes are only 22-minutes long, the complex pranks usually takes nearly three hours to film. And although it can be “frustrating” to redo the prank for the next new mark, the Stranger Things scene-stealer loves to be the one to shatter the intricate illusion at the end of a successful stunt.

“A couple of them have no idea [who I am]. A lot of them have never heard of Prank Encounters,” Matazarro confessed with a chuckle. “More people know me from my work in Stranger Things. But a lot of them have never seen Stranger Things, and a lot of them have never seen my work before or familiar with me. And so, I go into the reveal and what should be a moment of, ‘Oh, whoa! Look, there’s that kid from that show!’ They’re still like, ‘Who’s this guy?'”


“It’s always crazy. It’s always fun for sure and I always like it when they don’t know who I am,” he said.

When it come to Stranger Things, which is still in production on its fourth season, Matarazzo admitted that he would be interested in pranking one of his co-stars.

“If I was going to prank anybody on Stranger Things, I’d probably pick Noah [Schnapp],” he revealed. “He’s just a riot, man. He knows how to have some fun. I’m just thinking about what that would entail. I think that’d be fun. I think most people would agree with me.”

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