Milo Cawthorne has been acting for years, but got a steady gig as Ziggy Grover in the popular Power Rangers RPM series. We horror fans know Milo from other roles he’s had, most notably in Guns Akimbo (2019), the indie hit Deathgasm (2015 – read our review here), and the maniacal genre mash-up Blood Punch (2014). His performances, which showcase his affinity for comedy, have become fan favorites, and I was excited to have the opportunity to ask him a few questions.
PopHorror: Many of our readers may know you as Brodie from Deathgasm, the gory, over-the-top horror comedy hailing from New Zealand a few years back in 2015, but with Blood Punch, you definitely made an impression with your portrayal of Milton, the intelligent but lovestruck young man strategically plucked from rehabilitation. What were some of the most appealing aspects of Blood Punch? What compelled you to become a part of it?
Milo Cawthorne: Really, it was Eddie [Guzlian, writer] and Maddy [Madellaine Paxson, director]. I knew them from the Power Rangers season we all worked on in 2008. Eddie had executive produced and was the head writer of that season, and I was really impressed by how he could make Power Rangers actually funny and watchable! I got to know them both, thought they were super talented and very funny people. So when they told me they were making a film and would like me to be in it, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. It was dream come true material.
PopHorror: Blood Punch was a clever and entertaining mixture of different genres. When you initially read the script, what were your immediate thoughts and reactions to it?
Milo Cawthorne: Initially, Eddie sent us a small 9-page teaser which included the opening scene [bathtub finger cutting], and Skyler [Olivia Tennet] getting admitted into rehab and going into berserker mode and destroying the place. At one point, she stubs her cigarette out on a man’s forehead, which I don’t think made the final cut. The language was foul, the action was gory, and I was absolutely elated. It was mysterious. I didn’t know about the time-loop situation, I knew very little about the plot as a whole and yet I was fully onboard (laughs). I remember thinking the scenes were really fun to read. The dialogue especially stuck out to me. It was quick and playful and looked really fun to work with. Plus, I’d basically played nerds my whole life, so finally getting to play a nerd who turns BAD was heavenly.
PopHorror: In both Deathgasm and Blood Punch, you deliver performances that were not only favorably noted by critics at celebrated film festivals all over the world but also became adored by indie genre fans. Can you share what this whole experience has been like for yourself?
Milo Cawthorne: It’s been sporadic and lovely. It’s rare for me to be in contact with anybody who has seen these films. But when I do receive a message or see someone write positively about them, it’s always very gratifying. You spend a lot of energy and time working on them, so to see people react positively is very fulfilling. It’s also strange, though. I occasionally get messages from people complimenting me on Power Rangers, which was 13 years ago! It’s like someone coming up to you and going, “Hey, that science fair project when you were 12-years-old was awesome!” Oh, weird, but thanks!
PopHorror: One of your executive producers on Deathgasm was Ant Timpson (Come To Daddy), a man who possesses both an extensive knowledge of movies and a massive private collection of films. Were you able to chat with him at all about the genre?
Milo Cawthorne: (laughs) I read that line as “a man who obsesses both an extensive knowledge…” Funnily enough, I think that word would fit perfectly. He has a beautiful, obsessive passion for this genre, and it’s an exciting energy to be around. He’s truly a fan who’s making and programming what he loves. Also, he’s got a lot of energy. He’s not a guy who’ll slowly sip a drink or take long slow drags off a cigarette. He moves fast, he eats fast, he talks with passion. I can’t say I’ve ever chatted at length with him about this genre specifically. I imagine he would be bored quite quickly with my lack of knowledge on the subject!
PopHorror: If you could work alongside any actor or actress, living or deceased, who would you choose and why?
Milo Cawthorne: My childhood hero and inspiration was Jim Carrey, so that’d be a full-on experience, but also he looks quite intense to work with, so maybe as a more relaxing backup, I’d go with Bill Murray.
PopHorror: Milo, if you were given the opportunity to program a double feature at your local drive-in, what two films would make your bill?
Milo Cawthorne: Hmm, speaking of, it’d be a Bill Murray two-fer: Groundhog Day and What about Bob?
PopHorror: What’s up next for yourself, Milo? Where can folks follow your work?
Milo Cawthorne: My partner, Ella Hope-Higginson, and I made a short webseries over lockdown here in 2020. It’s about a sidekick trying to find his next superhero. That’s on Instagram @sidekickseries. We’re currently working on writing the second season of that in a longer and slightly different format. I was just in a webseries set in the office of an obnoxious radio host, that looks like it’ll go for a second season. That’s called Talkback—crazy title, I know— but it might only be available in NZ though. Other than that, dunno, try to pay rent, pass the time. I’m on Instagram occasionally @milobloggs.
We want to thank Milo for taking the time to chat with us, and we hope you check out not only the web-series @sidekickseries, but revisit Deathgasm and perhaps discover Blood Punch on Amazon.