Euphoria creator Sam Levinson has opened up about his efforts to help Angus Cloud overcome his drug struggles, including multiple interventions.
The actor, who played Fezco in the HBO series, died aged 25 on July 31 from an accidental drug overdose. According to the coroner’s report, fentanyl, benzodiazepines, methamphetamine and cocaine were found in his system.
Following his death, Levinson revealed in an extensive interview with People that he repeatedly encouraged Cloud to seek help for his struggles.
He first intervened between the first and second season of Euphoria where, after the actor turned up to his office visibly unwell, he suggested to his family that Cloud should be sent to rehab. This was the first time Cloud’s mother, Lisa, realised there was a problem.
“I looked him in the eye and I knew that he wasn’t doing well,” Levinson said. “At the same time I’ve been in these situations before where you’re trying to get someone clean. And I just said to him, ‘I love working with you and we’ve got this amazing season planned and stuff, but I need you to be sober because I got to be able to rely on you.’”
HBO paid for Cloud’s 30-day in-patient rehab program, where he stayed for an additional three months.
“I could always feel that he didn’t want [sobriety] as much as we all wanted it for him,” Levinson added. “That’s where it gets tricky because the whole world can want it for you. But he didn’t want it. It’s just the self-destructive side of addiction and it outweighs everything. But you can’t give up on people. I wasn’t going to let anyone give up on him.”
The writer and director had another intervention midway through filming the second season, where he told Cloud: “You’ve got to get help and you’ve got to get help right now.” The actor entered rehab again after filming on the fifth episode.
Levinson also explained how he saved Cloud’s character Fez from death multiple times. The character was originally supposed to die at the end of season one, but Levinson saved Fezco because he “loved” Cloud “so fucking much”.
Later, Fezco was supposed to die in season two, but Levinson was concerned by the actor’s reaction when he broke the news. “I could just see the blood kind of run out of his face,” he said. “I think the hardest thing is when you have addiction issues – it’s about finding your purpose and finding your meaning in life.
“The one thing that I knew is he loved making this show. He loved the crew. He loved the actors. He loved everything about it. And I just thought, if this goes away, I don’t know what’s going to happen in his life.”
After season two, Levinson said he had a four-hour chat with Cloud about getting sober for the third season, where the actor is said to have told him: “No, no, I’m good. I’m good.” After that, the director said he “could tell” that Cloud “wasn’t interested” in helping himself.
Following his death, his Euphoria co-stars Zendaya, Sydney Sweeney, Javon Walton and Colman Domingo all paid tribute.
Along with Euphoria, Cloud’s other acting credits included films North Hollywood, The Line and music videos for Noah Cyrus and Becky G.