Miko Hughes began as a child actor, bringing us the eerie performance of “Gage” in Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary”. He went on to more horror classics and tingling dramas such as Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, Mercury Rising, Apollo 13, Spawn and many more. Set to start work on a new horror film, I sat down with Miko for an interview about the upcoming thriller, as well as our favourite cult classics.
SCREAM: Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary” is a staple of horror films. At the time of filming, did you have any idea of the classic it would become?
MIKO: At the time, of course not. I don’t think I knew I was acting for Pet Sematary; I was just playing pretend. I was practically a baby. I think a lot of it I owe to the director, and the cast and crew, for cultivating that character out of me at such a young age. I was a bit older before I started really having conscious thought about characters and development. Pet Sematary, I was so young that I don’t think there was a lot of that going on.
SCREAM: It was a phenomenal performance. There is something chilling about “Gage” no matter how many times one has seen the film…
MIKO: Thank you. It seems that a lot of people tend to think so. I will forever appreciate that. It’s definitely got some powerful moments in it. It’s always fascinating how avid the horror fans are. I did other work over the years but horror fans are diehard. You don’t do conventions for drama or comedy – it’s horror. It’s this specific drama with such a dedicated fan base.
SCREAM: We’re sitting here at Spooky Empire, Halloween weekend. What do you think it is that draws so many fans into these events?
MIKO: I’ve been doing conventions for a while now. This is my second Spooky. It was great then, but now it’s on a whole other level and I’m sure it will grow even more from here. I think it’s awesome, conventions deserve a spot outside of the Comic Con thing – horror conventions definitely have their own style going on. Like a family, you run into a lot of the same people. Spooky is one of the major players for sure. Each horror convention has their own vibe; they’re similar in ways but also have their own flare that makes them unique.
SCREAM: What is the most recent project you wrapped on?
MIKO: I did an independent … not sure when it will be released … it’s about an actor going through a transition in his career and in his life with a divorce. He’s trying to reinvigorate things; he’s on a down cycle. I play a screenwriter who has a script that he really believes in and is trying to get made. Through a series of events it seems like it’s not going to happen, we lose touch and have no way to get a hold of each other. There’s a love interest that he meets – it’s his Phoenix essentially.
SCREAM: So doing research for our interview, I came across something I just have to ask about. Is it true that along with being an actor, you also raise bees – as in tens of thousands of bees?
MIKO: Yes! I have a hive. It was just a freak thing when I was a kid. I saw a documentary on the Discovery channel and I was fascinated. They’re so important to the environment. I feel like bees in a weird way are the transition between plant and animal. They’re like sex organs of trees – flowering, blooming – there are a lot of other insects that can pollinate but not like bees do. Honey is fascinating. It’s the only food that never goes bad. They found honey in pyramids. It crystallises, but all you have to do is boil it and it goes right back to normal. Unless it were to get contaminated, honey can literally last forever. Some kids want dogs or cats – I wanted a beehive. I got my brother into it too now. It helps pollinate any plants in the area or orchard.
SCREAM: That’s amazing. I never thought about it much, I guess – thanks! Okay, bringing it back to topic, “Mercury Rising” was another intense film that you made after “Pet Sematary”. I imagine that character was challenging…
MIKO: For sure! I worked on that role more than any other.
SCREAM: That had a star-studded cast, too. What is your favourite behind the scenes moment?
MIKO: I’m sure there are many. One cool thing I think that not a lot of kids get to say is I used to get in water balloon fights with Bruce Willis and Alec Baldwin on the set of “Mercury Rising”. Alec Baldwin had a golf cart on set to get to the lots, and he would do drive bys. I surprised them one day with it and they were shocked! After that it was game on! It went on for days. They showed up with silly string. Then he would do drive-by’s in the golf cart and drench me! It was a war essentially. A fun one.
SCREAM: We just covered one of your favourite behind the scenes memories from a film. Out of your career, what film would you say you’re most proud of the end result?
MIKO: I don’t enjoy watching myself on screen. It’s interesting. I’ll usually watch it once just to see the end result. I won’t go out of my way to see it after that. But I’d have to say Pet Sematary. I was so young and I remember the least of the filmmaking process. It’s easy for me to disassociate and enjoy the movie for what it is instead of constantly critiquing myself.
SCREAM: You have a new horror movie currently in pre-production titled “William Froste” — a film that is loaded with horror icons including Bill Moseley, Michael Berryman, Leslie Easterbrook and Kane Hodder. What can you tell our horror fans about the film?
MIKO: Without revealing too much about the story – William Froste is a mortician. I play the morticians assistant. Froste is a very solitary guy. He’s a very weird guy. He doesn’t have many friends. And I have my suspicions about him, I’m kind of there for him but at the same time I’m wary of what he’s got going on with his life.
SCREAM: Thanks for talking to us, Miko.
MIKO: My pleasure, thank you.
Words: Bree Marie