Simon Pegg Admits He Would 'Be Dead' If He Hadn't Got Sober

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Simon Pegg Admits He Would 'Be Dead' If He Hadn't Got Sober

Simon Pegg has said he would be ‘dead’ if he hadn’t given up drinking, having used alcohol to ‘numb’ his depression.  

Pegg, 52, is sober after seeking treatment at the Priory, one of the country’s leading rehab facilities, having previously spoken about his experience with alcoholism and mental health issues. 

Looking back now, he believes he ‘one hundred perfect’ wouldn’t still be alive if he didn’t give up booze, saying the thought of what he went through makes him feel ‘sick’. 


In a new interview with The Times, he said: “I knew I was depressed. I just didn’t know how to escape it.” 

Explaining why he turned to drink to try and deal with his depression, Pegg said he 'became addicted to the sensation of being numb, rather than the chemical addiction'.

When asked if he drank at breakfast, he replied: “Sometimes. In the worst times. […] I look back now and it makes me feel sick.” 


Despite close friends growing concerned – including regular collaborator Nick Frost – Pegg said it wasn’t ‘as easy as stopping’, and that he instead ‘hit the ground hard at high speed’. 

At one point, he lost four days after Comic Con in San Diego in 2010, with only a memory of sitting on the pavement eating pizza after losing his phone, thinking: “S**t, I must look really pathetic.” 

Pegg believes that, if he hadn’t stopped drinking, he would be dead. 

“One hundred per cent, because, and I don’t think it’s too dramatic to say, that is the ultimate end of that line of flight,” he continued. 


Speaking of his time at the Priory, Pegg recalled how he ‘started smoking a little bit in there’, adding: “I remember asking one of the therapists, ‘This is an addiction clinic. Why do you let people smoke?’ And he said, ‘Because no f***er would come in here if we didn’t.’” 

Pegg in Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Credit: Paramount
Pegg in Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Credit: Paramount

Nowadays, Pegg exercises six days a week - strength on Mondays, core on Tuesdays, active recovery on Wednesdays, strength on Thursdays, strength on Fridays and boxing on Sundays. 

But he asserts that he hasn’t simply replaced one obsession with another, adding: “I’m not in the gym for three hours.” 


His weakness now, apparently, is tattoos – including one from Coen Brothers film Raising Arizona and some related to manga and anime – saying they’re ‘like Twiglets’ as you can’t stop having them. 

If you want to discuss any issues relating to alcohol in confidence, contact Drinkline on 0300 123 1110, 9am–8pm weekdays and 11am–4pm weekends for advice and support 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Celebrity, Mental Health

Jess Hardiman
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