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Euphoria’s Angus Cloud Recommends a Good Cry

Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Spoilers for the Euphoria season two finale “All My Life, My Heart Has Yearned for a Thing I Cannot Name” below.

Nearly every character in Euphoria’s wide ensemble is actually many different people, their identity shifting depending on whom they’re with — friends, family, love interests, strangers. The tempest of events in the series’s second season is fueled by lies, mistruths, and betrayals, from Rue’s relapse to Lexi mining her friends’ lives for Our Life content to whatever cartoonishly evil move Nate is making at any given moment. But Angus Cloud’s Fezco never seems quite as at odds with himself as everyone else, and that surety (plus a burgeoning relationship with Lexi) elevated the character to fan favorite after he outlived the death Euphoria creator, writer, and director Sam Levinson planned for Fez at the end of season one.

Will all that change after the events of season-two finale “All My Life, My Heart Has Yearned for a Thing I Cannot Name,” in which Fezco’s house is raided and his younger brother Ashtray killed during a SWAT team siege? The episode ends with Fez in handcuffs, the note he’d written Lexi left blood-splattered on the floor, and no acknowledgement of his whereabouts from any of the other characters.

“I like being able to do the soft and friendly and nice stuff with Maude,” Cloud told Vulture, but whether he’ll get the chance in season three is anyone’s guess. Cloud spoke with Vulture about the future of Fexi, his last scene with Javon Walton’s Ashtray, and the meaningful compliment he received from Levinson while filming the episode’s shootout scene.

When did you learn this was the plan for Fezco’s character, and what was your initial reaction?
We didn’t know the plan until not long before we were gonna shoot it. I was pretty bummed to be honest.

I’m curious what your relationship is like with Javon Walton, who plays Ashtray. How did you two prepare for this episode together?
We were just like, Damn, bro, I guess this is it, you know? It’s just a bummer that he can’t be on the show … though it had to happen for the dramatics.

How long did the siege and shootout take to film? I imagine that’s probably one of the most demanding things Euphoria has asked of you. 
Yeah, I’d say it took like a solid three 12-hour days.

I know other actors have spoken about having the freedom to improvise lines during filming. Was that available for this scene, or were things pretty tightly written?
Oh no, no. There’s always that freedom. You kinda just go with how you feel in the moment. If Sam likes it, then he’ll tell you to do it again. If he doesn’t like it, then he’ll ask you not to do it.

Was there anything in this scene that was improvised? There’s so much anguish from Fezco, and I’m wondering how you summoned it.
What does “anguish” exactly mean?

Like, pain. He is so afraid of what could happen to Ashtray. He’s telling Ashtray to come out of the bathroom in one breath, but he’s also telling the cops to stop shooting because Ash is just a kid. How did you get into that headspace?
Yeah, it was a sad couple days for me. I was all bummed out, and when the camera stops rolling, you still have this heavy weight on your shoulders. It was emotional. I was crying and stuff.

As an actor, do you bring the same level of emotion the whole time to a scene like this, or does it change throughout?
It changes and it evolves. You gotta work with the mood and the gravity and the energy of the room, but I definitely needed the help of Sam to get to that point where I was actually crying. What he said to me, it just cut deep. It brought up a lot of everything I’ve been through. I don’t know how he knew how to touch my buttons like that. Without him, it would’ve been more difficult.

Do you mind sharing what he said to you?
I could share, yeah. To be honest with you, it was a compliment. You know how most compliments are like, “Nice sweater,” or just surface-level? He just told me, “Bro, you’re here. You’re doing good work.” And since he knows about a lot of the personal stuff I’ve had to deal with, he was just like, “You know how easy it would be for you not to be here. But you’re here and you’re doing it.” It’s not often you receive an actual, deeper-than-surface-level compliment about your life.

How much do you pull from your personal life to get to that emotional place as an actor?
The way I do it with Fezco is I just try to put myself in his shoes and then react the way I think he would react. I don’t think too deeply about it ’cause I want to be able to have the freedom to move and change as the energy in the room shifts.

I read an interview where you said, “Not all your actions define you. Good people are forced to do bad things.” I’m wondering if you think Fez is a good person.
A good person? That depends on who you ask.

Okay. I’m asking you.
Yeah, I think he’s a good person. I think anyone who takes care of their family and tries to spread love and whatnot is a good person. Everything for me, it’s about intentions. If you have bad, evil intentions of wanting to harm someone, that makes you a bad person. But if you’re doing things with good intentions — even if it may end up harming this person or it may be a bad thing — the intentions behind what you were doing weren’t bad. And I don’t think that defines you as a bad person.

What would you say to Fexi fans wondering whether they should keep hope alive for the Fezco/Lexi relationship? 
I would say, “Yeah. Yeah.”

At the end of the finale, Rue and Lexi don’t talk about what happened to Fezco. Do you think that’s something we’ll see in season three? 
I’m sure you’ll figure out something about Fez in season three. For sure.

What are your hopes for Fezco? Any things you’re planning for, preparing for, or hoping for with the character in season three?
I’m just leaving it all up to Sam, to be honest. I’m ready for anything.

Do you know the explanation or origin for Fezco’s first name?
I can’t answer that. I don’t know.

You went to the Oakland School for the Arts and did technical theater, building sets and doing lighting. How difficult do you think Lexi’s play Our Life would be for a high-school crew to pull off? 
At Oakland School for the Arts, they do a good job at building sets and lighting. It’s pretty professional. They don’t have that much money, but I think it could be possible. The kids in that program and in all the art programs at that high school are doing really amazing things.

Fez tears up when he and Lexi watch Stand by Me together. Is there any movie or TV show that makes you emotional in that same kind of way?
Hell yeah. I mean, I feel like I cry pretty easily in movies, to be honest. I’ll be having other stuff I want to cry about that I ain’t cried about yet, and then I watch a sad-ass kids’ movie, like Coco or some shit, and then I fucking start crying. But really, the tears are saved up from some other shit that I’ve been going through, and the little kids’ movie just helps me to let it out.

That becomes the outlet for it. 
Yeah. Tears are good; I recommend. I feel bad for people who can’t cry, you know? ’Cause I feel like that shit builds up, and it’s like a release. After I cry, I usually feel a bit better. Especially if it’s one of those where you just been trying to hold it in, thug it out and just act like everything’s good for weeks and weeks. Then somebody gives you a proper hug and is like, “Are you okay?” And you’re just like, “No.” [Laughs.] “I’ve been acting like I’ve been okay this whole time, but no, I’m not.” [Laughs.]

I had read an interview where you talked about wanting to emulate someone like Tom Hardy. 
Yeah, they were asking me what kind of movies I like. I don’t know that many actors’ names, but Tom Hardy has been in a lot of cool stuff that I’ve seen. I think he’s pretty badass.

Do you have a favorite movie of his? One you go back and rewatch? 
I like that show Peaky Blinders, when he’s in that. And there’s one where he’s playing his own twin, and they’re London gangsters and shit. That one is pretty fire too.

I think that’s Legend. He’s great in Peaky Blinders, but everyone is great in Peaky Blinders, so it’s hard to pick. 
I know. That show is so good.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Euphoria’s Angus Cloud Recommends a Good Cry