Fin Argus, the star of the new Disney+ film Clouds, had a personal connection to playing Zach Sobiech, an American teen who died from a rare bone cancer shortly after becoming a viral music sensation.
“With COVID-19 going on...there are so many people who are experiencing loss and grief, and that’s something that I was experiencing last year throughout the process of filming,” Argus told Yahoo Canada, revealing that his aunt was reaching the end of her battle with brain cancer at the time.
“It was coming to a head around the time I got the audition for Clouds. The timing was really strange and almost eerie but it gave me an opportunity to confront those emotions in a way that I hadn’t.”
Retelling of the viral musical moment
Back in 2013, Sobiech lost his battle with osteosarcoma at the age of 18. The aspiring musical artist recorded a song titled “Clouds” before his death, with the track getting millions of hits and views on YouTube.
Celebrities like Rainn Wilson, Brian Cranston, Sarah Silverman, Chris Pratt, Anna Faris, Jason Derulo, Rachel Bilson and more also took part in a star-studded video rendition of the song, in support of the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund.
The new film’s director, Justin Baldoni (Five Feet Apart), initially met Sobiech while working on a documentary series called My Last Days, focused on the journeys of people living with terminal illness.
The Clouds cast, which includes Neve Campbell, Sabrina Carpenter, Madison Iseman and Tom Everett Scott, takes you through Sobiech’s tearjerking journey with all the sentimental feelings you would expect from the Disney+ movie, produced by Wayfarer Studios, Warner Bros. Pictures and Mad Chance/La Scala Films.
Emotional, physical ‘trial and tribulations’
Argus revealed something he was “nervous” about being able to have an “authentic” portrayal of Sobiech throughout the progression of his illness.
“Not only were there emotional trials and tribulations but also physical trial and tribulations,” he explained. “There are a lot of kids who are fighting their battle with osteosarcoma right now and seeing that represented on screen is really important, and having it represented on screen authentically is even more important.”
The young actor said he was particularly focused on his physicality throughout the film.This is something Argus worked on with Nate, a friend of the Sobiechs who is currently fighting his battle with osteosarcoma and someone Argus now calls a friend himself. He also spoke to Laura Sobiech, Zach’s mom, about her son’s experiences, where his pain was and how he felt.
“Throughout the movie I’m using Zach’s actual crutches, which was a mind warp in itself,” Argus said. “It’s an immense responsibility to play a real person no matter what and especially this story, being so sensitive and profound, I felt a pressure to do his story justice because that’s what it deserves and that’s what Zach deserves.”
Clouds is available to stream on Disney+ on Oct. 16.