Simon Pegg reveals struggle with alcoholism

Ben Arnold
Simon Pegg (Credit: PA)
Simon Pegg (Credit: PA)

Simon Pegg has revealed his struggles with alcoholism and depression.

The Mission: Impossible star said that he hid his addiction from friends and family, before finally ‘waking up in the Priory’.

He adds that he also had to take out court orders to keep the story leaking to the press.

“It was awful, terrible,” he told The Guardian. “It owned me.”

Pegg says that it was during the filming of 2006’s Mission: Impossible III that represented the beginning of the ‘crisis years’.

“When I watch that film back, I can see where I was then, which was fairly lost, and unhappy, and an alcoholic,” he says. “Because I hid it. I’m an actor, so I acted… all the f**king time.

“One thing [addiction] does is make you clever at not giving anything away. People think junkies and alcoholics are slovenly, unmotivated people. They’re not – they are incredibly organised. They can nip out for a quick shot of whisky and you wouldn’t know they have gone. It’s as if… you are micro-managed by it.

“But eventually the signs are too obvious. You have taken the dog for one too many walks.”

He adds that in the movie The World’s End, the comedy sci-fi in which he plays an immature man who doggedly pursues a feted pub crawl despite risking his own life and that of his friends, he was possibly trying to ‘tell people’ about his problem.

The World’s End (Credit: Focus Features)
The World’s End (Credit: Focus Features)

“Because that’s what addiction is like. It’s like you have grown a second head and all it wants to do is destroy itself, and it puts that ahead of everything else – your marriage, children, your job,” he says.

Pegg says that it was when the press discovered he was in treatment that he had to take legal action in order to prevent stories about him emerging.

“They were sinking so low as to phoning up where I was and pretending to be my mother to get the story,” he says.

“I’m not ashamed of what happened. And I think if anyone finds any relationship to it, then it might motivate them to get well. But I am not proud of it either – I don’t think it’s cool, like I was Mr Rock’n’roll, blackout and all that s**t. It wasn’t, it was just terrible.”

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Credit: Paramount)
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Credit: Paramount)

He says that he believed that the birth of his daughter Matilda was going to turn things around for him, but it soon became apparent that it was not.

“It was the most cosmic experience of my life,” he says. “I thought it would fix things and it just didn’t. Because it can’t. Nothing can, other than a dedicated approach, whether that’s therapy or medication, or whatever.

“I don’t think I would be here now if I hadn’t had help.”

Pegg is next up reprising his role as Benji Dunn in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, out across the UK on July 25.

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