Simon Pegg Says He Hid His Alcoholism on ‘Mission: Impossible’ Set


Simon Pegg is getting candid about his struggles with alcohol.

During a recent episode of the BBC’s Desert Island Discs, Pegg revealed that he hid his alcoholism while working on the set of Mission: Impossible III in the 2000s.

“You become very sneaky when you have something like that in your life,” Pegg told host Lauren Laverne, via the Guardian.

Pegg, who plays an IMF technical field agent, Benji Dunn in the series, shared that he became addicted to alcohol after suffering through a series of mental health issues, the first of which started as a teenage bout of depression while studying to get into the University of Bristol. A seriously low mood returned unexpectedly in 2006, but Pegg kept the matter private while filming the franchise’s third installment, which was released that year.

“You learn how to do it without anyone noticing because it takes over. It wants to sustain itself and it will do everything it can to not be stopped,” he said. “But eventually it just gets to a point when it can’t be hidden, and that’s when, thankfully, I was able to pull out of the dive.”

As for what helped the 53-year-old actor recover, Pegg said it was the birth of his daughter, Matilda, in 2009.

He also spoke about his relationship with Mission Impossible star, Tom Cruise, who he’s set to star alongside in the franchise’s fifth installment, Dead Reckoning Part One, due out in July.

“My relationship with him is just very simple and amiable,” Pegg shared. “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. I mean, he loves [the fame] and he really relishes it. It’s all he knows. It energizes him and spurs him on.”

The pair have a playful rapport as well, with Pegg noting that he’ll often tease Cruise about his fame.

“We joke about it. I mean, I always make fun of him for it, you know, about the things that he can access,” he said.

Recalling a moment in South Africa when Cruise took a break from filming to fly him in a helicopter to a bay where he could swim with sharks, he said it was “a real Tom Cruise kind of day.”

“He kind of appreciates the ridiculousness of it sometimes,” Pegg added.

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