Simon Pegg Reveals He Was a 'Lost and Unhappy, and an Alcoholic' as He Hit the Hollywood Big Time
“It owned me,” Simon Pegg, star of Star Trek and Mission: Impossible films, said of his addiction to alcohol and depression
Simon Pegg has candidly revealed his long battle with alcoholism and depression.
The actor and comedian, 48, spent years attempting to hide his struggles, calling his time in the throes of addiction as “awful, terrible.”
“It owned me,” he told The Guardian in an interview published Monday.
Pegg said even as went from British funnyman to Hollywood star, working with the likes of Tom Cruise on the Mission: Impossible films and J.J. Abrams on the Star Trek reboots, his depression did not allow him to enjoy the experience.
“I would feel like — I’m in a film with Tom Cruise, I’ve got the part of Scotty in Star Trek, he told the publication. “This should be making me feel happy. But it wasn’t.”
Pegg — who revealed he has been depressed and self-medicating with alcohol since he was 18 — said things really took a downward spiral for him in 2006 when he began to shoot 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,” he said, calling that time the “crisis years.”
“One thing [addiction] does is make you clever at not giving anything away,” he continued. “People think junkies and alcoholics are slovenly, unmotivated people. They’re not — they’re incredibly organized.”
Pegg continued, “They can nip out for a quick shot of whiskey and you wouldn’t know they have gone. It’s as if you are micromanaged by it. But eventually the signs are too obvious. You have taken the dog for one too many walks.”
When his daughter Matilda was born in 2009, the actor was surprised to find out it didn’t change anything about his addiction.
“It was the most cosmic experience of my life. I thought it would fix things and it just didn’t,” he said. “Because it can’t. Nothing can, other than a dedicated approach, whether that’s therapy or medication or whatever.”
His addiction soon became “obvious” to his wife, Maureen Pegg, which caused him to go to rehab.
“I got into it. I got into the reasons I was feeling that way. I went into AA for a while, too,” Pegg added. “I don’t think I would be here now if I hadn’t had help.”
He revealed to The Guardian he can rewatch 2011’s Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol and see where he finally began to get better.
“We always laugh about it when we watch the movie. Try it! You’ll be like: ‘F—, he’s got cheekbones suddenly!’”
“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,” he added. “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—. It wasn’t, it was just terrible.”