Simon Pegg discusses his alcohol addiction and depression: 'I don’t think you ever really lose your demons'

Katie O'Malley

Simon Pegg has talked about suffering from depression and overcoming alcohol addiction, revealing that he believes it’s impossible to completely “lose your demons”.

Last year, the actor opened up about his struggle with alcoholism while filming the 2006 film Mission: Impossible III and how he had to take out court orders to stop the news being made public.

In a new interview with GQ Hype, the Shaun of the Dead actor said that he has come to understand how depression and addiction can affect your life.

“What I have come to realise from back then is that depression is always there,” he told the publication.

“No matter what I did. I don’t think you ever really lose your demons. You just try to find a way to keep them in their place.”

The actor continued to say that drugs like alcohol shouldn't be relied upon as a long-term solution.

“At some point the effects wear off and you need more and more. And so with something like alcohol, you just end up being drunk all the time,” he added.

Hot Fuzz (Rex)

“It’s where that line comes from in The World’s End where Nick Frost’s character asks me, ‘How do know when you are drunk if you are never sober?’ And an opportunity came up for me to turn everything around and that’s what happened.”

The actor revealed that the lowest moment during his battle with addiction was during the San Diego Comic-Con in 2010 while promoting his sci-film film, Paul.

Despite having vowed to abstain from alcohol at the time, Pegg said he felt it might improve his low mood during the trip.

The Spaced star continued: “I got to the point where I was sitting on the sidewalk in downtown San Diego having lost my phone and eating pizza and it was just so bleak.

“When I got home, [his wife] Maureen just knew I had been drinking and it was bad. I knew then I needed to get help.”

Following the experience, Pegg sought treatment at The Priory and stopped drinking alcohol altogether.

Simon Pegg (Paramount Pictures)

“What I found was that as soon as I stopped, things started to go my way,” he said.

“It’s a strange thing and I have had conversations with other people about this, that when you quit drinking the universe starts to give back to you a little bit. Maybe it’s because I figured out why I was drinking, which was to combat the depression and so I was able to get on top of what was the real issue.”

Pegg added that his recovery made him when you realise that “you don’t need to get drunk because you don’t need to escape from things".

“By actually confronting it, my reward has been these last 10 years.”

During the interview, the notoriously private star also revealed his reasons for discussing his mental health problems last year.

“I think I was just ready to talk about it, you know?” he said.

“Before then, I hadn’t really been prepared to give that much of myself over. It isn’t something I think should be seen as shameful. It’s something that a lot of people suffer with.”

The 49-year-old said that as a result of his admission, he received messages of support from fans who thanked him for his honesty.

“I had from a lot of people who said, ‘Thank you for saying that, because I felt that way too.’ And that’s what I would have hoped for,” he added.

If you have been affected by any issues mentioned in this article, you can contact The Samaritans for free on 116 123 or any of the following mental health organisations:

Simon Pegg’s full interview with GQ Hype can be read here.