Mission: Impossible’s Simon Pegg Opens Up About Battling Alcoholism While Shooting The Third Film

Simon Pegg as Benji in Mission: Impossible

All of the fortune and fame that comes with being successful in Hollywood comes with a few daunting pitfalls, as we have seen in more than just a few famous and tragic cases. Addiction is an issue many celebrities have faced and, now, Simon Pegg, who plays Benji in the Mission: Impossible franchise has come out candidly about his battle with alcoholism while shooting the third film in the franchise.

Simon Pegg, who is probably best known for his contributions to comedy with films like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, spoke on an episode of the podcast Headstrong about how he dealt with anxiety while filming Mission: Impossible III. The Star Trek star explained that his coping mechanism was to just drink constantly before heading into set, a practice that he recognizes as self-destructive. Here it is in Pegg’s own words:

I remember being away for the first time coming over to do Mission: Impossible III and being sort of stuck in this hotel room in Beverly Hills and being so panicky and feeling so unwell that I drank a lot. I drank my entire mini-bar because I just wanted to not feel that way. By the time I came on set to do my scenes, I was kind of a wreck because I was just super anxious, and I'd been drinking. It was so self-destructive.

The ill feelings Simon Pegg remembers having are certainly valid. He explains that he was away from home in an unfamiliar setting, isolated and out of his comfort zone.

Mission: Impossible III was Pegg’s first major non-comedic role. Being a part of the popular franchise alone would be nerve racking but, given all the sources of anxiety he had at that point in time, it makes sense his mini bar would serve as a source of relief for him. In the same interview, Pegg makes it clear he wouldn’t recommend following in his footsteps:

All those fixes are so temporary, they’re so quick, that they don't solve the problem, they just dam it up. And so any time I knew I was in trouble, I just kicked the can down the street by having a pint. It's not the way to go.

It seems like the unique type of pressure celebrities are under may contribute to their likelihood of struggling with addiction. It’s also interesting to note that a number of stars involved in the comedy genre have dealt with emotional-based illness and addiction. It’s tough to see anyone go through these kinds of struggles, but it hits a little harder when it’s the people who strive to put smiles on our faces.

Simon Pegg has been pretty busy since being on the set of the third Mission Impossible. He’s been in the even larger franchises of Star Wars and Star Trek and is still portraying the character of Benji in Mission: Impossible alongside Tom Cruise. It’s safe to say the hilarious actor’s anxiety has abated at least somewhat, and we wish him well in his continued sobriety.

Carlie Hoke
Content Writer

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.