THE CRUSADES follows three friends from private all-boys high school as they receive earth-shattering news about an upcoming merger with their rival school, The bad news sets them and their friends careening towards one last epic weekend before everything changes. Leo (Rudy Pankow, Outer Banks, Uncharted) balances multiple love interests in a constant quest for popularity. Caught in the crossfire is Ryan (Ashley Nicole Williams, Motherland: Fort Salem), a hopeless romantic with a bad habit of giving unlimited second chances. Sean (Khalil Everage, Cobra Kai) struggles with his responsibilities to his cold and calculated girlfriend Jess (Indiana Massara, Hero Mode, Chicken Girls), who is always one step ahead of everyone. Jack (Ryan Ashton) repeatedly clashes with authority and the administration in a never-ending struggle to avoid all responsibility. To make matters worse, the boys unknowingly made an enemy out of Vince (Blaine Maye, Joe Bell) and The Wrecking Crew, who are hell-bent on settling their vendetta at all costs. Completely unaware that the choices made over this fateful weekend could end up impacting their lives more than any merger ever could. Director, writer and producer Leo Milano joins us for a conversation on the long and winding road that The Crusades has taken him and his dedicated crew on, how his career as an actor, Stand-in and Production Assistant on has given him the experience and the confidence to make his debut feature film, The Crusades.
About the filmmaker – Writer / Director / Actor / Producer Leo Milano is a Midwesterner, born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. It was here he discovered his passion for filmmaking and his desire to tell the stories of the blue collar upbringing he experienced between the coasts. Straight out of High School, Leo’s first job was PAing on Michael Bay’s Transformers 3 and then went on to work full time as Taylor Kinney’s stand-in on NBCs Chicago Fire for 50+ episodes as well as NBCs The Playboy Club and the YA blockbuster, Divergent, after attending film school at Columbia College Chicago. Over the last decade, Leo has directed several commercials, short films, a TV pilot and most recently the Indie feature, The Crusades starring Netflix star Rudy Pankow with veteran actors Nicholas Turturro and Mike Starr. Leo’s next project currently in development is the action filled dramatic comedy Ten Cent Beer Night, inspired by the incredible untold story of the Cleveland Indians riot in 1974. Leo is co-founder of Bad Little Thing, the production company behind Leo’s two features as well as several other projects in development.
“What the actual hell? This was one of the freshest takes on the high school hijinks film that I’ve seen in forever. There are no authoritarian rules, which gives the film a sardonic anarchy and weird vibe … Leo Milano is a writer/director to watch.” – Patrick McDonald, WBGR-FM (93.7 FM)