Dark Secrets About The Cast Of Euphoria

The angsty teenage drama that took over HBO since its debut in 2019 is nonother than the series, "Euphoria." The show captivated viewers by taking on some of society's most taboo topics. The controversial coming-of-age story involved characters struggling with mental health, drug addiction, and loss while navigating the harsh world of high school. 

"Euphoria" was an instant hit, becoming the second most-viewed series on HBO behind "Game of Thrones." While the series grabbed millions of viewers' attention, it isn't for the faint of heart. Many critics attacked the series for its bold and graphic fight scenes, depictions of drug abuse, and intimate sex scenes. But despite the criticism, "Euphoria" broke boundaries. Zendaya, who plays the show's main character, went on to set a record as the youngest two-time winner for lead actress at the Emmys.

But despite the show's success, the cast of "Euphoria" has its fair share of secrets. Cast members have opened up about their striking similarities with the complex teenagers they portray. Many of the show's actors have struggled with their own personal demons and tragedies, including the show's creator Sam Levinson. The raw, unfiltered story hits close to home for many of its cast members. From drug addiction and loss to heartbreak and betrayal, "Euphoria" isn't afraid to tackle polarizing issues. We're diving into the darkest secrets of the cast members who made the series so compelling. 

Angus Cloud died of a possible drug overdose

"Euphoria" cast member Angus Cloud quickly became a fan favorite when he debuted as the series' beloved drug dealer, Fezco O'Neill. His character was dubbed as "the heart of 'Euphoria,'" and it's easy to see why. Cloud's role on the show was layered, as he played a character whose quiet nature and strong moral compass were a direct contrast to his dangerous line of work. While viewers fell in love with his charm, his reality was just as tragic as the role he played on the show.

Cloud died in 2023 shortly after he lost his father to cancer. As per TMZ, the actor's mother called emergency services to report a suspected drug overdose after finding her son unconscious. A source close to the Cloud family admitted the "Your Lucky Day" actor had previously been experiencing suicidal thoughts grappling with the loss of his dad. In a social media post, Cloud's mother wrote: "He did not intend to end his life. When we hugged goodnight we said how much we loved each other and he said he would see me in the morning. I don't know if or what he may have put in his body after that."

In a clip from an interview that resurfaced on TikTok, Cloud admitted his off-screen life wasn't as glamorous as fans might have thought. "...You're gonna go click on my page and see me smiling and happy and living my life like everything's good," he said. "Everything is not good. Everything is pretty bad."

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org

Sydney Sweeney was in tears over Twitter trolls

Being a celebrity comes with its challenges, like managing Internet trolls and social media backlash that often go hand in hand with fame. Sydney Sweeney is no stranger to receiving hate online, but the "Euphoria" star reached her breaking point in 2021 after online backlash drove her to tears. Sweeney, who plays Cassie Howard in the series, took to Instagram Live after users created a hateful Twitter thread to comment on her appearance. According to Daily Mail, the actor said through tears: "I think it's really important for people to see how words actually affect people," adding, "I know everyone says, 'You can't read things,' and 'you shouldn't read things,' but like, i'm a f**king person!" 

Sweeney went on to highlight the importance of being kind to one another on social media as users commented in support of the actor. "Subjecting a women [sic] to only being reduced to breasts is really weird," one user wrote in Sweeney's defense, adding, "Get help please." In an interview with Variety, the "The White Lotus" star admitted that her own fame takes her by surprise. Sweeney stated she can't do many things she used to, like walking down a New York City sidewalk without security. "Three years ago, I was going to college just like everybody else. And all of a sudden, I'm not a human anymore," she revealed.

Jacob Elordi lived out of his car before being cast in Euphoria

Elordi plays the tortured character Nate Jacobs, whose manipulative ways make him the main antagonist on the show. From sleeping with his girlfriend's best friend and threatening her with a gun to multiple physical fights, Elordi's character is one most loved to hate.

Despite his success as an actor, Elordi's life before the show was anything but glamorous. He got his start with the Netflix film "The Kissing Booth," which premiered in 2018, but he was barely making ends meet after filming the movie. In an interview with GQ, the Australian native said he was living out of his car in Los Angeles when he booked a role on the HBO show. "I think I had – I don't know, $400 or $800 left in my bank account – and 'Euphoria' was my last audition before I went home for a little while to make some money and recuperate," he said. 

Elordi admitted that a producer on the series booked him a room at a Los Angeles hotel while filming the series. "My car was like a hoarder's, stacked with boxes and coat hangers and things," he said, adding, "I got really lucky. Which is just an L.A. story, you know?" Elordi's days of sleeping in parking lots are long gone, however. The actor admitted in a Vogue interview that he has since nestled into his Los Angeles home with a view of the Hollywood sign.

The creator of Euphoria struggled with drug addiction

"Euphoria" is known for pushing the limits on socially taboo topics like drug addiction, a disease that the show's creator Sam Levinson knows all too well. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, he admitted that many of the storylines were inspired by his own battles with substance abuse in the past. The series' protagonist Rue Bennett, played by Zendaya, battles addiction throughout the show and goes through multiple relapses. Her challenge with staying sober was similar to Levinson's own story growing up. 

"I was a drug addict for many years, and I've been clean for many years now," Levinson revealed. "I was trying to capture the heightened sense of emotion when you're young and how relationships feel. The world feels like it's just constantly bearing down on you." He went on to add, "That anxiety, and those sort of mood swings, I think, are inherent to being young — but even more so when you struggle with anxiety and depression and addiction."

While landing acting roles in several films and following the footsteps of his father, a successful Hollywood director, Levinson got involved with opiates when he was just a teenager. His teenage years were characterized by checking in and out of rehab hospitals, an experience that set the backdrop for his HBO show. Ultimately, Levinson had an epiphany at 19 years old. "There was this voice that was clear as day that said, 'Stop f***ing doing drugs.' I've been clean for 14 years," he said (per The Telegraph).

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Alexa Demie opened up about filming a traumatic scene

Alexa Demie plays the unapologetic, sassy, in-your-face character Maddy Perez in "Euphoria," known for her toxic on-and-off relationship with the show's antagonist Nate Jacobs. Demie's character is no stranger to trauma, as her storyline includes navigating her boyfriend cheating on her with her best friend and his gaslighting and abusive tendencies. The drama came to a pinnacle, however, when Perez was threatened at gunpoint in a tense game of Russian Roulette with Nate Jacobs. The dramatic scene is sparked by her possession of a damning disk drive featuring videos of Jacobs' father engaging in sexual acts with multiple men and transgender women.

The scene is difficult to watch, and Demie admitted to Entertainment Weekly that it was brutal to film. "It was an incredibly difficult scene not only because of the gun to my head, but because it was choreographed in a really specific way," Demie said. "We had to move with the camera movements and it was really broken up, and so it took us two days to shoot. It was basically all we did all day on those days."

The actor went on to admit that there was little to no preparation before filming the intense scene. She forced herself to stay in character during filming breaks to be able to tap into her character's fear and desperation. "It's heartbreaking to see her experience something so violent and traumatic, and it's the moment that really shifts things for her," Demie said of the scene.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Jacob Elordi was rumored to have cheated on Zendaya

Jacob Elordi is known for playing the bad boy on "Euphoria," but could he have similar traits in real life? The actor sparked rumors when fans speculated that he had cheated on his co-star Zendaya with model Kaia Gerber. Though their romance was never officially confirmed, the two "Euphoria" stars seemed pretty cozy together following the premiere of Season 1. They were spotted photobombing a tourist's Instagram photo together in Greece in the summer of 2019, leading fans to believe they were on vacation together. The following year, the pair engaged in some PDA in New York City, which further fueled rumors that they were an item. 

When he was spotted with model Kaia Gerber in the summer of 2020, fans questioned whether or not he had been unfaithful to Zendaya. While there's no concrete evidence to support the theory, Twitter users continued to air their grievances. After photos emerged on Twitter of Elordi seemingly taking Gerber to what looks to be the same outdoor market he was spotted at with Zendaya, fans joked he was a serial dater. "Jacob Elordi be like 'I know a place' and then take you where he's taken every girl he's ever dated," one user wrote. Despite the chatter online, Elordi dodged rumors that he was dating the "Spider-Man" star. "She's like my sister. Zendaya is an amazing creative, you know?" he told GQ Australia. "She's super dope to work with."

Sydney Sweeney's MAGA controversy

Sydney Sweeney was at the center of a controversial political debate in 2022 when she posted a photo that sparked backlash online. In a series of photos posted on her Instagram celebrating her mother's 60th birthday, the actor included a since-removed shot featuring a man in what looked to be a Blue Lives Matter shirt. The guests were also spotted donning red hats that look similar to Donald Trump's MAGA hats, featuring the words "Make Sixty Great Again." 

Viewers trolled the star online over the photos, accusing her family of having a pro-right stance. Sweeney took to Twitter to defend her post, writing: "You guys this is wild. An innocent celebration for my mom's milestone 60th birthday has turned into an absurd political statement, which was not the intention. Please stop making assumptions." Some fans of the show clapped back, however, citing the liberal nature of the HBO series and criticizing her for being tone-deaf. "Assumptions? Don't gaslight your fans (many are likely young progressive people based on the content of the show that gave you fame). Your family is obviously far-right based on the blue lives matter shirts and MAGA babies," one user wrote.

Sweeney takes the criticism with a grain of salt, however, knowing that her line of work is bound to attract online hate. "I'll see people say, 'She needs to get media training'. Why, do you want to see a robot?" she told GQ following the controversy. "I don't think there's any winning."

Barbie Ferreira left the show over disagreements with Euphoria's creator

Barbie Ferreira was largely absent from Season 2 of "Euphoria," fueling speculation of a fallout between her and show creator Sam Levinson. Fans took notice of the change after Ferriera's character Kat Hernandez was diminished to a few select appearances in the second installment of the series. The actor admitted on the "Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard" that she felt her character couldn't progress on the show. She stated, "I think my character, who I love so dearly, I don't think there was a place for her to go. I think there were places she could have gone. I just don't think it would have fit into the show," she said. 

Ferreira denied rumors that she had a falling out with Levinson, admitting that she felt her role as Hernandez ran its course after Season 1. "I don't know if it was going to do her justice, and I think both parties knew that. I really wanted to be able to not be the fat best friend. I don't want to play that, and I think they didn't want that either," she said. The "Euphoria" star went on to admit that "Sam writes for, like, things that he relates to. I don't think he relates to Kat. I relate to Kat."

As for reports suggesting Ferreira walked off the set, she denied it ever happening. "I actually did not walk off set," she said. "I did sprain my ankle once and had to go get an X-ray. Maybe that's what they mean?"

Dominic Fike was almost fired while filming Euphoria

"Euphoria" cast member Dominic Fike got candid about his role on the show, admitting he was high on drugs while filming. The artist plays Elliot in the series, a mysterious character who befriends Rue Bennett (played by Zendaya) on the show. Fike's character has his own issues with substance abuse and finds himself involved in Bennett's relapse in the series. In an interview with Apple Music, the "3 Nights" singer revealed he was almost fired from the show due to using drugs while shooting scenes. 

"I was a drug addict, and coming on to a show, you know, mainly about drugs was very difficult," Fike admitted. "Sam, the director, he got me a sober coach — somebody to be there all the time." His coach was less than helpful, however, as he confessed to filming the scenes while high. "I was reprimanded for it," he said, adding, "I almost got kicked off the show." After being pulled aside by "Euphoria" creator Sam Levinson, Fike admitted he eventually got sober. The singer returned for Season 2 with a clean slate and admitted: "I have a better dynamic with everybody," he said, adding, "Well, almost everybody."

Fike was referring to his breakup with his on-screen love interest Hunter Schafer. The two co-stars dated following the Season 2 premiere and broke up about a year and a half later. In a profile for the Los Angeles Times, Fike admitted he wanted to get comfortable being on his own. "So I decided to just be alone for a while," he said.

Angus Cloud had a near death accident as a teenager

Angus Cloud nearly lost his life when he was just a teenager. The "Euphoria" star opened up to Variety about a harrowing incident where he fell into a construction pit. Cloud told the magazine that he had been walking home alone in the dark and stumbled into the ditch, which was at least 10 feet deep. The incident occurred on Friday the 13th, unlucky, to say the least.

After spending 12 hours in the pit unconscious, Cloud fought to dig himself out of the hole. "I was trapped. I eventually climbed out after — I don't know how long. It was hella hard to climb out because my skull was broken, but my skin wasn't, so all the bleeding was internal, pressing up against my brain. But they wasn't gonna find me down there. I found myself. Or God found me, whatever you want to call it," he revealed.

After narrowly escaping death, the actor managed to take a bus home to his mother's house. Before he tried to sleep it off, his mother took him to the hospital for fear of a brain injury. The life-saving surgery is what gave the actor his noticeable scar on the left side of his scalp. "That's what the scar's from. They cut my head open, they put some screws and a plate over where I broke my skull and — sh*t, sealed me back up, and that was that," he revealed.

Hunter Schafer struggled with depression

Hunter Schafer revealed that playing her character, Jules, on the HBO series "Euphoria" was a life-saving experience. The series released a special episode co-written by Schafer during the lapse between Season 1 and Season 2. The episode, which gave viewers an in-depth look into Jules' backstory, was aired to bridge the gap due to the coronavirus pandemic delaying Season 2's premiere date. From Jules' perspective, it highlighted her difficult childhood, her mother's substance abuse struggles, and even being institutionalized. The episode was shot in the form of a therapy session and acted as a real-life therapy session for Schafer.

"I feel like it really just gave us room to go deeper into her mind and her subconscious and her headspace," Schafer told i-D Magazine, adding, "I was in a very f**king raw place, you know, it was the summer of 2020. Probably coming out of the worst depression I've ever had, and needing somewhere to put all of that energy. When I say that episode really became a lifeline, I mean it."

Schafer admitted that the first episode highlights her character's relationship with Rue, but the second half tackles even deeper issues. "The other half is just a 17-year-old trans girl, still figuring out who she is and debating queerness within her head — what that means for her as a trans person. All of these new new parts of herself that she's still uncovering, all intersect and create one big mess that she's trying to untangle, or find some sense within," she said.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Zendaya learned to cope with her extreme anxiety

Zendaya may be an Emmy-winning actor, but that doesn't mean her road to fame and fortune was an easy one. The "Euphoria" star has been open about her struggles with mental health, saying her anxiety began with she was just a child. In an interview with InStyle, the actor admitted her anxiety resurfaced again as a teenager when her acting career took off. "That was kind of my first time dealing with the internet, and it made me feel sick. I deleted everything and stayed in my room. Live performing really gave me anxiety too. I think a lot of it stems from the pressure I put on myself, wanting to do my best and not make a mistake," she admitted.

The "Spider-Man" actor revealed that while she still deals with anxiety, she finds it healing to talk about it. "That can often mean calling my mom in the middle of the night. Sometimes I make her sleep on the phone with me like a frickin' baby," she admitted.