Simon Pegg talks battle with alcoholism: "It owned me"

Simon Pegg has opened up about suffering from depression and alcoholism.

The 48-year-old spoke last month about having a former drinking problem, and he's now revealed that his 2013 film The World's End echoed his own experiences.

"It was awful, terrible," he told The Guardian of his struggle. "It owned me."

Pegg explained that while he was shooting Mission: Impossible III in 2006, he was "fairly lost, and unhappy, and an alcoholic" – though fans wouldn't have known because he "hid it".

He continued: "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."

He also admitted that even the birth of his daughter Matilda didn't "fix things". "Because it can't," he said. "Nothing can, other than a dedicated approach, whether that's therapy or medication, or whatever."

Pegg, who said rehab helped him to conquer his addiction, went on to discuss The World's End – in which he stars as Gary King.

The film follows a group of friends who discover an alien invasion during an epic pub crawl in their home town – but Gary continues even when they're in danger.

"I felt like I was kind of telling people with that movie," he revealed. "Because that's what addiction is like. It's like you have grown a second head and all it wants to do is destroy itself, and it puts that ahead of everything else – your marriage, children, your job."


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.