As reported last week, citing the Alameda County Coroner, the 25-year-old's official cause of death was an accidental overdose. Prior to this official declaration, the actor's mother, Lisa Cloud, had revealed that her son had been "in deep grief" at the time about his father's "untimely death from mesothelioma."
In a new piece from People, available in full here, Levinson revealed that he initially intended to kill of Cloud's Euphoria character, Fez, but had his mind changed due to the power of the actor's presence on the Zendaya-led critical and commercial hit.
"Angus was supposed to die at the end of the first season, but I loved him so fucking much,” Levinson said, adding that he was drawn to Cloud's audition tape after first noticing his "Paul Newman eyes."
According to Levinson, Cloud’s lack of formal training as an actor immediately proved to be a “a benefit” for the show.
“He had such a unique cadence, humor and sort of pathos to him,” he recalled of the show’s first table read. “There was something unusual and empathetic.”
As for Cloud’s struggles with drugs, Levinson—who himself endured substance abuse issues when he was younger—at one point proposed the possibility of entering rehab to Cloud. This moment was a pivotal one, both for Cloud himself and his mother, who linked her son’s more recent struggles to an injury he received during the pandemic.
Mentioned in the People piece is a meeting Levinson had with Cloud during which the creator and showrunner told the actor he needed him to get clean. At that point, HBO stepped in to pay for a 30-day in-patient program for Cloud, followed by three additional months of outpatient services. Another intervention followed, as did an extended hours-long conversation about Cloud's need to get clean ahead of work on the show's third season.
And while Levinson had again planned to kill off Fez at the end of Season 2, he said his mind was changed once more due to his love of Cloud.
"I can't do it," he recalled of making a key change to the story to keep Fez on the show. "I can't kill him. We got to keep him around. He's too special."
Read more here. Zendaya, Lisa Cloud, and more also contributed touching remarks on their own memories of the late actor.
In an initial statement shared by his family upon news of his death in July, Cloud was remembered as "an incredible human" who was loved by all whose lives had been touched by his own.
"As an artist, a friend, a brother and a son, Angus was special to all of us in so many ways," the family said at the time.
Cloud's fellow Euphoria stars, as well as other fellow artists and admirers of his work including Drake and Kid Cudi (and many more), were quick to pay tribute to the revered actor upon word of his untimely death.