Simon Pegg reflects on struggle with alcoholism on Mission: Impossible set

Simon Pegg reflects on struggle with alcoholism on Mission: Impossible set

Simon Pegg has opened up about hiding his alcohol addiction while on the set of Mission: Impossible III in the mid-2000s.

The actor, known for films such as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, stars as Benji Dunn in the Tom Cruise-led action franchise.

He has been a regular feature in the films since the third instalment in 2006, and will reprise the role in the seventh edition, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, later this year.

At the time of working on the third film, though, Pegg was concealing a dependence on alcohol.

“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,” Pegg told host Lauren Laverne on the latest edition of Desert Island Discs (14 May).

“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.”

Pegg, 53, also detailed that the addiction made him engage in secretive behaviours: “You become very sneaky when you have something like that in your life.”

The Run, Fatboy, Run star has shared his journey with alcoholism in the past, having first revealed his addiction in a Guardian interview in 2018. According to Pegg, he used alcohol to numb feelings of low mood that he’d been struggling with since he was an A-level student.

Simon Pegg (Getty Images)
Simon Pegg (Getty Images)

On a 2021 episode of the mental health podcast Headstrong, Pegg spoke about filming Mission: Impossible III while under the influence of alcohol.

“I remember being stuck in this hotel room in Beverly Hills. I would drink a lot. I drank my whole mini-bar because I wanted to not feel that way,” he said.

“By the time I came on set to do my scenes, I was kind of a wreck because I was super-anxious and I’d been drinking.”

If you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol addiction, you can confidentially call the national alcohol helpline Drinkline on 0300 123 1110 or visit the NHS website here for information about the programmes available to you.