Note: This article contains discussion of themes, including addiction and depression, that some readers may find upsetting.
Simon Pegg has opened up about his battles with depression and alcoholism in a candid new interview.
The Mission: Impossible – Fallout star revealed that he has suffered from mental health issues and a drinking problem, notably as his career was starting to take off, which at one point led him to go “missing for four days”.
“I was depressed,” Pegg told Empire. “I had always been susceptible to it. But at the same time as I started to ascend into what would conventionally be regarded as a success, I was going down.
“The more material success presented itself to me, the less I could understand why it wasn’t fulfilling me in any way. It wasn’t that it wasn’t fulling me, it was because I was depressed. It’s not a mood. It’s a condition.”
Pegg said that he eventually “crashed out” and drank more heavily, adding: “At Comic-Con in 2010 – I’ve never told anyone this – we were promoting Paul and I sort of went missing for about four days. I got back to the UK and just checked myself in somewhere.”
However, the star explained that he reached a turning point in 2010: “I got well in 2010. I stopped drinking. I got a little bit of help.
“If you look at Burke & Hare, I’m bloated and f**king dead-eyed… I look at it now and think, ‘F**k me, I was in a dark place then.’ I was drunk a lot of the time and I was profoundly unhappy.”
Pegg also credited the team of Mission: Impossible for helping and supporting him during his struggles.
“They took care of me and it helped me to get out of this dark place and realise that life was enjoyable. By the time I finished Ghost Protocol, I was better,” he said. “JJ [Abrams’] unending faith in me makes me teary to think about it. He’s always stuck by me.”
In his interview, Pegg also revealed that he will be directing his first movie, which is likely to start filming this year.
We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
For more on drug addiction and dependency, including information and support, please visit FRANK or Action on Addiction.
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