Angus Cloud struggled with addiction. HBO, Sam Levinson tried to help 'Euphoria' star stay clean

Alexandra Del Rosario, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES — In "Euphoria," actor Angus Cloud played a soft-spoken drug dealer who knew when to cut off his desperate clientele. Off-screen, however, he struggled with his own drug addiction that impacted his time on the hit HBO series.

Months after Cloud died of an accidental overdose at age 25 in late July, "Euphoria" creator Sam Levinson told People how he and the show's team supported the actor amid his battle with addiction. "I looked him in the eye and I knew that he wasn't doing well.

"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,'" Levinson said.

Cloud's drug use began years before he broke out as dealer Fezco opposite Zendaya's Rue in "Euphoria." In 2013, the actor broke his skull by falling into a construction pit. He underwent surgery and was prescribed opioids for the pain. He frequently experienced "fierce" headaches as a result, his mother, Lisa Cloud, told People.

"I mean, there were [other] things that may have worked, but he never did any of them. And when you have that much pain, you just want relief," she said.

Cloud, who also discreetly smoked weed on set during his early "Euphoria" days, then reportedly injured his heel in between seasons while trying to outrun Los Angeles police when he was caught tagging. He started using a cane to walk — but refused treatment.


"That's really what started his drug-seeking behavior, I think," Lisa Cloud told People. "It was hugely painful."

In the early stages of Season 2, Levinson pulled Angus Cloud aside and encouraged him to go to rehab. People reported that HBO paid for the actor's treatment, a 30-day in-patient program.

"I could always feel that he didn't want [sobriety] as much as we all wanted it for him," Levinson said. "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."

Cloud fell back into drug use later in Season 2 production, and Levinson (whose experiences with addiction inspired "Euphoria") held a second intervention. "You've got to get help and you've got to get help now."


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