“It owned me”: Simon Pegg opens up about his brave struggles with alcoholism, depression and rehab
The actor successfully hid his troubles from almost everybody
Simon Pegg is always happy, always laughing, right? That’s what he’s known for.
However, according to a new interview in The Guardian, the star revealed that he’s been battling alcoholism and depression for years. Promoting his new film Mission: Impossible - Fallout, he spoke of his troubles throughout his career, even when it was really taking off. He said:
“It was awful, terrible. It owned me.
“I would feel like – I’m in a film with Tom Cruise, I’ve got the part of Scotty in Star Trek. This should be making me feel happy, but it wasn’t.”
Pegg says he suffered from depression from the age of 18, and he dealt with it by self-medicating with alcohol, including during the filming of Mission Impossible III:
“When I watch that film back, I can see where I was then, which was fairly lost, and unhappy, and an alcoholic.
“I hid it. I’m an actor, so I acted … all the fucking 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.”
Pegg credits rehab for his recovery, which he entered around the release of his 2011 film Paul:
“I got into it. I got into the reasons I was feeling that way. I went into AA for a while, too.
“I don’t think I would be here now if I hadn’t had help.”
But with his admission came new problems, namely the intrusive press:
“They were sinking so low as to phoning up where I was and pretending to be my mother to get the story.
“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 shit. It wasn’t, it was just terrible.”
Thankfully, Pegg is now sober and happy, living in Hertfordshire with his wife, daughter and dogs:
“Doing the school run, picking up dog shit, all that stuff is what’s important to me and I need to keep doing it.
“I had to deal with a disgusting one this morning, it was like Armageddon. But as I crouched on the floor with a wet wipe in my hand, I did stop and think to myself – this is the life.”
Mission: Impossible - Fallout is in cinemas July 25.