The 52-year-old actor claims his addiction was caused by reliving his troubled childhood in order to write his 2009 memoir, Nerd Do Well, explaining that he used to depend on the “sensation of being numb” rather than the “chemical addiction.”
During a recent interview with The Times, Pegg said he was aware of his depression but “didn’t know how to escape it,” which resulted in turning to alcohol, sometimes even at breakfast.
He noted it was “too difficult to admit” to his troubles, especially to those who were concerned about him, like his wife Maureen and longtime collaborator Nick Frost, so instead he, metaphorically speaking, “threw himself off a cliff at high speed.”
Although he remembers very little of San Diego’s 2010 Comic Con, Pegg was able to recall “sitting on a pavement eating pizza after losing his phone and thinking, ‘S**t. I must look really pathetic.’”
Had he not gone to receive help at The Priory Hospital, the actor said he would “one hundred per cent” be dead because “that is [death] the ultimate end of that line of flight [addiction],” noting that it’s not “too dramatic to say.”
Shortly after getting help, Pegg “opened a ziplock file in his mind” about his divorced parents and the “difficult” relationships he had with their new partners, he explained in his book.
“My relationship with both [stepfather and stepmother] was really difficult. They were young and immature. They had their own issues. And I was the walking, talking remnant of another relationship,” he recalled during the interview.
“For a child it is extremely disturbing to be rejected by an adult. Adults are the authority on everything,” he continued. “When there’s suddenly an adult in a position of parental power who doesn’t like you, it’s like, what the f***?”
Pegg added that his stepfather used to question “what rubbish” he was watching on TV, and that one time he “cornered” him with a two-by-four block of wood because he didn’t sweep the garage floor with enough power.
Since the age of 18, the English actor battled depression but, fortunately, over the years, he had the support of friend Tom Cruise who he’s had “deep conversations and heart-to-hearts” with.
Pegg previously revealed he would arrive to set drunk while filming his first “Mission Impossible” film back in 2006 with Cruise. He confessed to being “kind of a wreck” while recalling a time when he drank his hotel room’s entire mini-bar before shooting scenes.