Simon Pegg has made a career of making people laugh, but you know the old joke about Pagliacci. In a new Guardian interview, the “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” actor reveals his years-long struggle with depression and addiction — a problem that got worse, not better, after he was cast in his first “Mission: Impossible” movie.
“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,” Pegg says. “But it wasn’t.”
“When I watch that film back, I can see where I was then, which was fairly lost, and unhappy, and an alcoholic,” Pegg adds of his “crisis years” — a period of time he kept hidden from the public. “I’m an actor, so I acted … all the fucking time.”
“One thing [addiction] does is make you clever at not giving anything away,” he continues. “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 eventually went to rehab after his wife realized how bad the problem had gotten. “I got into it. I got into the reasons I was feeling that way. I went into AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] for a while, too.” Had he not, things could have been even worse: “I don’t think I would be here now if I hadn’t had help,” Pegg says. Read his full interview here.