Simon Pegg Reveals He Hid Alcoholism on Set of 'Mission Impossible 3' : 'You Become Very Sneaky'
The English actor and screenwriter shared his private struggle and explained that he was also dealing with depression at the time
Simon Pegg is recalling darker times facing "depressive alcoholism" while filming Mission Impossible III in 2006.
On Sunday, the English actor shared details of his private struggle during an interview on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs.
"You learn how to do it without anyone noticing because it takes over," Pegg, 53, told podcast host Lauren Laverne of hiding his addiction. "But eventually it just gets to a point where it can't be hidden, and that's when, thankfully, I was able to pull out of the dive."
Having struggled with depression since he was a teenager after his parent's divorce disrupted his formative years, Pegg also recalled feeling a sense of "abandonment" after leaving school and being away from his friends as he entered adulthood. It was in 2006 while filming MI III that Pegg noticed a turn for the worse.
"You become very sneaky when you have something like that in your life," said Pegg, who pointed out the irony of working "in the heart" of where he "always dreamed of being" — on the Paramount lot and working with Tom Cruise on a "huge blockbuster film."
"I was kind of in this terribly panicky distressed state. I couldn't figure out why," Pegg said, sharing that later he figured out it was depression, and alcohol was making it worse.
Reflecting on his depression as a teen, the Shaun of the Dead star said, "I just knew that I didn't feel right. I didn't have the intellectual capacity to understand what was happening to me emotionally, which was just really frightening."
Finally, he experienced relief around 2010. The Gloucester native's daughter Matilda, who he shares with wife Maureen, was born in 2009.
"I managed to get help and stop drinking and addressed why I was drinking and that was the turning point," Pegg said.
Related:Simon Pegg Reveals He Was a 'Lost and Unhappy, and an Alcoholic' as He Hit the Hollywood Big Time
Later in the interview, the Star Trek Beyond actor and co-writer also shared about his friendship with Cruise.
"My relationship with him is just very simple and amiable," Pegg said. "It's always been a very easy relationship. I think you realize, when you meet the person rather than the thicket of mythology that's built up around them, it's a different experience."
Added Pegg, "I mean, he loves [the fame] and really relishes it — it's all he knows. It energizes him and spurs him on."
"He kind of appreciates the ridiculousness of it sometimes," he noted.
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Discussing career fun facts during lighter elements of Sunday's interview, Pegg also shared that he was originally cast in Michael Fassbender's role in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Bastards, but was forced to pull out because of The Adventures of Tintin.
The comedian first came up in the late nineties when he created and co-wrote the UK's Channel 4 sitcom, Spaced.
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