Simon Pegg is known for being something of a geek off the screen, so you'd be forgiven for thinking a guy that has been part of multiple major film franchises is living the dream. Apparently not. At least, there was a time when he wasn't. Pegg, who is about to co-star alongside Tom Cruise in yet another big Mission: Impossible movie, now admits that as his star was on the rise, following hit movies like Shaun of the Dead, which led to massive film franchise roles like Star Trek, he kept waiting for the success to make him happy. It was a moment that never came because Pegg now admits he was suffering from depression. According to Pegg...
I would feel like -- I'm in a film with Tom Cruise, I've got the part of Scotty in Star Trek. This should be making me feel happy. But it wasn't.
From the outside, it's certainly understandable to believe that Simon Pegg had everything figured out. His British TV series Spaced was all about the geek set that loves things like Star Wars and Star Trek and it built a cult following in the U.S. as well as the U.K. From there, he co-writes and stars in Shaun of the Dead which starts his rise in film. Since then, Pegg has had major roles in both Star Trek and Star Wars not to mention Mission: Impossible. It's the sort of thing his own character from Spaced would have loved.
Of course, Simon Pegg is now admitting to The Guardian that his problems went far beyond something living the life of a Hollywood superstar could fix. He admits to suffering from depression, which he would self-medicate with alcohol. He now says that while filming Mission: Impossible III he was a full-blown alcoholic. At that point, there just isn't a film role that was going to fix anything.
Interestingly, while Mission: Impossible III may have been rock bottom for Simon Pegg, it seems that Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol was the beginning of the climb out. Apparently, and I'll be looking for this during my upcoming rewatch, you can actually see Pegg get healthier over the course of the movie, as he had started in recovery just as the film was getting underway.
While Simon Pegg originally went to court to keep stories of his recovery from getting out in the press, the actor now says that he's no longer ashamed of what happened, and is happy to tell the story on the chance that it might help others going through similar issues.
Today, on the eve of the release of Mission: Impossible - Fallout, Simon Pegg appears to be in a much better place. The franchise movies may not have made him happy on their own, but hopefully, he's now happy as he makes them.