Angus Cloud stars in the new indie-thriller Your Lucky Day, and fans of the late Euphoria star will not be disappointed in what ended up being one of his final onscreen performances. Director and writer Daniel Brown tells Yahoo Entertainment "the movie became much more important" in the wake of Cloud's unexpected death as he calls the actor's family "the most important audience right now."
"I just hope that they all feel like he's properly represented and that he would've been proud of it," Brown shares ahead of the film's release, as he remembers Cloud as "a warm soul" that was "really kind to everybody" on set.
In Your Lucky Day, a dispute over a winning lottery ticket turns deadly when a criminal (played by Cloud) holds up a convenience store. Witnesses must decide how far they'll go for a cut of the $156 million prize. Brown had never seen Euphoria, but his wife watched the hit HBO show and suggested Cloud would be a great fit for the central character. When Brown later learned Cloud was interested, he still remembers "the smile that came over my face."
"It felt crazy, like an impossible thing to even imagine because this wasn't gonna be a big budget movie," Brown recalls. "And then we talked, he seemed so perfect... he was a little bit different than how the character was written. So I was excited about having his energy be a part of the movie because I felt like there was always supposed to be, sort of, this big-hearted criminal character who was going to try and connect with the people around him."
On set, Cloud was a big heart who connected with the cast and crew.
"Leadership on set I think is a big, incredibly crucial thing, especially with a small movie and really tight budget. We were shooting at night and it was not the easiest shoot either... [Angus] was just so chill about everything, really just so kind to everybody," Brown shares, calling Cloud "a sweetheart."
Brown even remembers a time when Cloud had some downtime on set, so the rising star helped someone on craft services make a YouTube video. "We [all felt] so blessed to have him around," Brown gushes, calling Cloud "a warm soul that just sort of helped calm everybody down" throughout the 16-day shoot.
"A lot of the actors had TV schedules too, so one day we would maybe lose someone or we would shift our schedule a little bit and he'd be like, 'Oh, you know, it's fine. On Euphoria, this is what we do and sometimes I don't have a script and we just wait around sometimes,'" Brown shares. "He was just so chill about the whole thing that it really helped. Especially in a small movie, you have younger crew members and having someone in that position just be like, 'It's gonna be fine.' He really sort of added a wonderful relief for everybody."
On July 31, Brown was rocked when he learned Cloud was found dead in his family home in Oakland, Calif. The actor's cause of death was ruled an accidental overdose.
"I think my first reaction was disbelief. I got a text and I was like, 'That's not true,'" Brown recalls.
"I just felt a great sadness," the writer continues. "Strangely the movie became much more important... I thought this was gonna be another step in his wonderful career. Even us talking about it makes me feel terrible."
The first thing Brown did upon learning the news was try and get ahold of Cloud's mother.
"I'm a father, [she's] the first thing I thought about and I knew that [Angus's] dad had just passed and had been sick. I just couldn't imagine the devastation that you would feel at that time," he explains. "I reached out to his mother and [said] what a wonderful person he was, and how special he was and blessed I worked with him."
Brown is doing a screening of Your Lucky Day in Oakland next week for Cloud's loved ones.
"We rented a theater and it's gonna be just his family and friends," he reveals. Brown isn't sure if Cloud's mother has seen the movie yet, but he sent her a screener ahead of time. "I don't know if she's watched it, we've talked about it. I've definitely warned her [about] some things."
Brown calls Cloud's family "the most important audience."
"I hope that [his mother] watches him and feels proud of him," he says, adding, "I was just incredibly glad that I got to work with him. It was amazing."
Your Lucky Day hits theaters on Friday, Nov. 10 and is out on digital starting Tuesday, Nov. 14.