HomeEntertainmentAngus Cloud Was the...

Angus Cloud Was the Sweet, Stoic Soul of ‘Euphoria’


Zendaya sits at the bleeding-heart center of “Euphoria,” and Sydney Sweeney’s performance provides its raging, rollicking id. But the young actor Angus Cloud, who died July 31 at age 25, may have come as close as anyone to giving the show its soul.

“Euphoria,” in its first two seasons, has been defined by its wild shifts in tone — tending always to head in one direction. Episodes grew more and more intense until it wasn’t just the characters at their breaking point but, seemingly, the medium of television itself. Which made Cloud’s style as the character of Fezco so unique, and so welcome. Even a viewer for whom the “Euphoria” emotional palette worked (like this one) could find within Cloud’s directness of approach, his utterly unique delivery and his unflappable sangfroid a safe place to land. 

Fezco dealt drugs to Zendaya’s Rue, but, somehow, he read as something other than an enabler — he was, indeed, one of a few people in her life who pushed her toward admitting to herself who she was. That way, even if she couldn’t fix her issues alone, she might at least know what they were. Cloud’s approach to these conversations was through a sort of startling plainspokenness, a process of seeming to seek the most ethical thing to say that made the struggle of figuring that out clear. 

Fezco’s shifting his relationship to Rue began with denying Rue drugs, startled by the intensity of her need. Cloud held his own against Zendaya, an astoundingly tactical performer using every bit of charisma in her arsenal to make Rue’s case; the one thing Fezco had on her was the viewer’s sense that Cloud truly knew the character’s mind. But, as written and as played by Cloud, Fezco recognized, too, that the struggles that Rue faced down were not entirely of her own making; a first-season scene in which he confronts Jacob Elordi’s Nate to get him to stop terrorizing Rue and others in her life is notable both for the menace Cloud is able to carry across through slight modulations and recalibrations of a deceptively flat affect, and for the real love underpinning Fezco’s crusade. As a performer, Cloud found variations within California hauteur, and within a character whose bearing was often hazy. One sensed he always understood exactly where Fezco was supposed to be in every scene.

That’s no small feat on a show whose admirers can admit is not always consistent in its approach to character. (The scaling-up of Fezco’s involvement in the drug scene was one way to use Cloud’s talents — Cloud was by the end of Season 2 anchoring a crime drama within “Euphoria’s” weekly soap — but I so preferred him as a consistent foil to Rue.) One thing the show got very right was in its sophisticated approach to what Fezco saw about himself, and what he was blind to. He was right that Rue had issues, and he was right that when he paused selling drugs to her, that might have been the better choice as a friend. But, given that he was the one who was, ultimately, her connection to drugs, there was one final connection he just couldn’t quite make, so eager was he to stumble around, alternately trying to really help and trying to appease a person who seemed to see the world the same way he did. Cloud played the contradiction; we saw the conflict play out across the face and bearing of a young man who’d so much rather have just gone through life with no drama. Cloud’s inherent lovability, the quality that made a viewer want him as a friend, made him an in-demand figure in the fashion world, and made his performance a fan favorite. It’s also just one more reason his loss stings.

The story of “Euphoria,” early on, was that of a young woman who’d shed most of her childhood friends in getting lost in addiction, and found herself forced to make new connections — both drug hookups and sources of real affection and fellow-feeling. How lucky she was as a character to find Fezco, and how lucky we were to have Cloud illuminating their journey together. “Euphoria” is a show about the grandest of human emotions, played out on a high-school stage because it’s only teenagers, perhaps, who allow themselves to decompensate quite so grandly. And Cloud, a remarkably promising talent cut short, was the show’s great stoic. It was his performance, perhaps more than any other on the show, that convinced you that all these kids would be OK. It’s not that what they were going through wasn’t real. But if Rue, at least, had a friend this honest, played by Cloud this honestly, in her corner, she might eventually figure it out.



Source link

Most Popular

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More from Author

Read Now

Stock futures inch lower Tuesday night as investors await fresh inflation data: Live updates

An Hour AgoInvestors should eye emerging markets and small caps outside of the 'Magnificent 7' stocks, Richard Bernstein says Investors should turn their attention to alternative investments including small caps and emerging markets outside of the "Magnificent 7" stocks, according to Richard Bernstein Advisors chief Richard...

Bears offer hint at Justin Fields-Caleb Williams decision while trying to say nothing

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Bears maintain that they arrived in Indianapolis for the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine still early in the information-gathering stage of their franchise-defining quarterback journey. Both general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus talked Tuesday in Indianapolis, painting a picture of a...

Crosstown Trade: White Sox and Cubs swap pitchers

The White Sox and Cubs swapped minor-league pitchers, the South Side announced. The Cubs are sending Bailey Horn to the White Sox in exchange for Matt Thompson. The trade helps the Cubs open a roster spot for Cody Bellinger, who they recently re-signed to the tune...

A surge fee on your Frosty? Wendy’s to test ‘dynamic pricing’ in 2025.

The deals at Wendy’s may soon not be as square as their burgers.The fast-food chain is set to start experimenting with dynamic pricing at company-owned stores next year. Wendy’s CEO Kirk Tanner said the company will soon spend $20 million to swap in digital menu boards,...

Gary Sinise’s Son Mac Dies Of Rare Cancer At 33

Gary Sinise foundation McCanna “Mac” Anthony Sinise, the musician son of actor Gary Sinise, has died of the rare spinal cancer Chordoma, the Forrest Gump star announced today. Mac Sinise, who had recently completed work on his album Resurrection & Revival, died on January 5 following a years-long...

No, No, No, Rep. Ken Buck Doesn’t Want Biden Impeached, Just Kicked Out Of Office For Being Old

None of them can be trusted, Part The CXLVII. From Politico:Buck's (R-Colo.) resolution urges Harris to convene the Cabinet to “declare what is obvious to a horrified Nation: That the President is unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office.” The retiring conservative...

Palworld Devs Are Sorry For Fixing The Game

Don’t you just hate it when a glitch you exploit in your fave video game gets fixed? I do, too, and apparently, so do Palworld players. Developer Pocketpair recently patched up a popular bug-turned-feature in the Pokémon clone that let players do something they weren’t actually...

MWC 2024: Everything announced so far, including HTC’s VR headset, ‘rollable’ Motorola concept phone | TechCrunch

The TechCrunch team is in Barcelona this week to bring you all the action going on at Mobile World Congress 2024. You already know what we’re expecting, so sit back, relax and stay tuned throughout the week as we bring you the products, announcements and startup...

You can save $20 on several Nintendo Switch games for Pokémon Day

Oh, would you look at that. It’s Pokémon Day, an annual celebration commemorating the game’s launch on this very day in 1996. Fun fact: Pokémon was first a video game, but it was quickly adapted as a trading card game and anime, both of which are...