Angus Cloud stars on In The Know’s digital cover for March 2022.
You’d expect that rocketing to fame as a fan favorite on one of the biggest shows on TV would change someone. The fame would go to their head or they’d expect to be treated differently or maybe they’d trade in their old friends for famous ones. But, for Angus Cloud, who plays Fezco on HBO’s Euphoria, that couldn’t be further from reality.
As the widely known story goes, a casting director discovered Cloud on the street and cast him as the preeminent drug dealer on the boundary-pushing show about high schoolers. His portrayal of the character — hard on the outside, heart on the inside — won fans over immediately, and though the show’s creator, Sam Levinson, filled us in on Fezco’s backstory in Season 2, Cloud’s remains purposefully shrouded in secrecy. It’s a way for the Oakland native to remain grounded and protect a part of his life as he still figures out how to navigate being famous as a key player on HBO’s second-biggest show of all time.
“That was definitely something that I’m trying to figure out because, you know, I got a pretty tight-knit family and circle of friends and all that. I don’t need the world. I don’t want [everyone to] know my business, you know what I’m saying? That’s just for me,” Cloud told In The Know for our March 2022 cover story. “It’s kind of been annoying [with people] trying to do detective work on my whole life. I’m like, ‘Man, can you just stop?’ Like, let it be.”
While his character’s fate remains in the balance between Euphoria’s second and third seasons (Season 3 might not arrive until 2024), Cloud’s fate in Hollywood is pretty clear: With multiple film projects already on the way, he’s undoubtedly on the shortlist of ones to watch.
For our inaugural Gratitude issue, In The Know’s Gibson Johns spoke with Euphoria star Angus Cloud about staying connected to his family and his heritage, tentatively embracing his career as an actor and not wanting to be treated any differently just because he’s a celebrity.
Gibson Johns: With today’s shoot, we’re somewhat paying homage to your Irish heritage, which you’ve said in the past you feel especially connected to. So, I would love for you to speak to that to start us off, because it’s pretty special to feel that affinity for where your family came from.
Angus Cloud: It’s dope to have some culture and roots and whatnot. So, yeah, I mean my dad’s an immigrant; he grew up on a farm with his family. He took over the farm, but he kind of decided he didn’t really want to do that no more and came out here to the States and whatnot. The rest of his sisters and all my cousins and whatnot, they’re still out there, so I get to go back and see them every once in a while. But yeah, man, it’s dope. It’s dope to have, you know, some culture. I’m proud to be Irish. I can’t really say I’m proud to be American, to be honest with you.
“I don’t want to be treated like I’m better than somebody — I’m not special. I’m just regular, you know?”
Gibson: Are you and your family especially close? Talk to me about the importance of maintaining that bond as you’re navigating this whole new world of Hollywood and fame and everything that comes with it.
Angus: It’s tough, man. I’ve never been that good at keeping in contact with everybody — it’s more just, like, unspoken. You know? What’s understood don’t need to be explained. I might, we might not be on the phone all the time, but when I see you, it’s automatically love, you know?
Gibson: I read somewhere that you strive to have normal interactions with people, and you don’t love when people come up and sort of fan out over you. Like, you appreciate it, but it’s not necessarily something you love. Can you speak to why that is? I guess people are always gonna come up to you as fans, but what about still having those normal interactions with people do you still really value?
Angus: It’s kind of hard to explain. But, for example, if I was to meet somebody that was famous or, for whatever reason, if I was a fan or not even just the fact that I knew they was supposed to be famous, I would rather not know that when I met them because, for some reason, it would change the interaction. Something happens with fame and notoriety that just changes the way people interact with each other, you know what I’m saying? With some people, it’s like, “Oh, you’re on TV,” or it means you’re supposed to be more special or something. We put people on different pedestals. Nonetheless, it is really nice, and we’re all regular people. Nobody’s better than nobody else, you know what I’m saying? I don’t want to be treated like I’m better than somebody — I’m not special. I’m just regular, you know?
Gibson: I think more people could benefit from thinking that way. You told GQ that when you first were on the Euphoria set and having this experience, something that was going through your mind was, “Why didn’t they just hire a professional actor for this? Why did they choose me?” You know, you are a professional actor now, and some people would call that imposter syndrome — not feeling that you have earned your spot. But, you have earned your spot. Have you grasped that at this point? That this is your rightful spot on this show? And that you’re a professional actor?
Angus: Yeah, to an extent. I mean, I feel bad, because it’s so, so many people working so hard for their whole life, and their whole life’s passion is to act and to get close to what I’m doing. And I’m like, “They probably could be better actors than me — most likely.” They’ve been trying so hard, whatever the case may be, but at the same time, it’s like everybody and their mamas had a chance to audition for the same role that I did.
“I’m here, and I’m happy to be here. You know what I’m saying? I’m blessed!”
Gibson: And people are responding to what you’re doing with this character; I think that that’s something that you can just embrace.
Angus: I’m not so good at taking compliments. I still think I kind of suck at this. But I had to come to just accept the fact that I must be doing something right.
Gibson: I think you’re doing it your own way, which I think is refreshing, and people are responding to that authenticity. That’s just who you are, and that’s important.
Angus: I’m thankful. I’m thankful for that. Because I feel like, you know, just me being here, I don’t want to come off as ungrateful or anything. You know what I’m saying? Like, I’m so blessed. You feel me? This is crazy, so I’m glad that people aren’t like, “Oh, man, he’s not grateful for this.” I’m here, and I’m happy to be here. You know what I’m saying? I’m blessed! I’m just not that good at doing interviews and whatnot.
Gibson: A lot of your co-stars have talked about the long shoot days on Euphoria, and how intense those shoot days are. How do you spend your free time on set? What are you doing between takes when you’re having a particularly long day?
Angus: Smoke a cigarette? Maybe sometimes, if you get a little longer, you break out some snacks, you feel me? Maybe lay down in the trailer, chop it up with the homies or whatever the case may be. Classic break time activities.
Gibson: This season started off with a deep dive into your character Fezco’s backstory, but we don’t have as much of a detailed backstory for you. I think that’s pretty fantastic that you’ve been able to maintain a distance between Angus Cloud the actor and Angus Cloud the person. There’s something to be said about people knowing too much these days, and people sharing too much — and, clearly, you value that. Can you speak to that a little bit? Being able to keep this carved-out private life for yourself that is just for you and your family and your loved ones?
“I still think I kind of suck at this. But I had to come to just accept the fact that I must be doing something right.”
Angus: That was definitely something that I’m trying to figure out because, you know, I got a pretty tight-knit family and circle of friends and all that. I don’t need the world. I don’t want [everyone to] know my business, you know what I’m saying? That’s just for me.
Gibson: That’s hard to do these days.
Angus: It’s kind of been annoying [with people] trying to do detective work on my whole life. I’m like, “Man, can you just stop?” Like, let it be.
Gibson: You’re still in the beginnings of your acting career, and you’ve talked about how you feel really lucky that you’ve been afforded this opportunity to do the show and everything that’s come along with it. Do you feel like, in acting, you’ve found something that you want to do for the rest of your life? Do you feel like you just want to pursue this going forward?
Angus: Yeah, I’m down.
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Watch our interview with Euphoria star Angus Cloud and go behind the scenes of his In The Know cover shoot below:
If you enjoyed this story, check out In The Know’s February 2022 cover shoot with Christian Cowan here!