June 21, 2024

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Euphoria creator Sam Levinson has spoken at length about castmember Angus Cloud for the first time since Cloud’s death in July from a lethal mix of methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine and benzodiazepines.

“There was no one quite like Angus. He was too special, too talented and way too young to leave us so soon,” Levinson said in a statement shortly after the actor’s passing. “He also struggled, like many of us, with addiction and depression. I hope he knew how many hearts he touched. I loved him. I always will. Rest in peace and God Bless his family.”

In a new interview with People, Levinson opened up about Cloud’s struggles with addiction during production and his own struggles to help the actor get clean. Those efforts included multiple interventions and rehab stints.

One day, in his office Levinson sat with Cloud and knew something wasn’t right.

“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.’”

The actor entered a 30 day in-patient rehab which was followed but 3 months of outpatient treatment. HBO footed the rehab bill. He cam back to the show and went to rehab again when they were five episodes into the season. That stint was also courtesy of an intervention by Levinson who says he told the actor, “You’ve got to get help and you’ve got to get help right now.”

As soon as the episode wrapped, Levinson and his wife drove Cloud to treatment.

“I could always feel that he didn’t want [sobriety] as much as we all wanted it for him,” the writer and filmmaker told PEOPLE. “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.”

That included keeping him on the show, even after his character was supposed to have died.

“Angus was supposed to die at the end of the first season, but I loved him so f—ing much,” he says. “The first thing I noticed about him was he had those Paul Newman eyes … and his audition tape where he said that his name was Angus Cloud and he’s ‘five foot 12.’ It killed me. He was perfect. I think part of the problem is I would sometimes put actors ahead of the show at times. So I was like, ‘Okay, I can’t kill him because then what is he to look forward to?’” 

Once Season 2 wrapped, Levinson and Cloud had a long talk, and the Euphoria creator told the actor he wouldn’t be allowed on set if he wasn’t sober.

“No, no, I’m good. I’m good,” Levinson said Cloud told him. But Levinson knew different.

“I could tell, at that time, it was like he wasn’t interested. He wasn’t going to do anything, and yeah, he didn’t want it.”

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