Are the One Direction Boys Even Still Friends? The Truth — In Their Own Words (2022)

In the two years and change since Zayn Malik left One Direction just before the band announced their plans to take an extended hiatus, the boys have been very candid about everything from fighting for creative control in the studio to the inspiration behind their own solo music. But most importantly, Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Niall Horan have been open about the highs and lows of their friendship over the years.

So, where do the boys all stand now? Since Tomlinson revealed that he and Malik have finally buried the hatchet on Wednesday, let’s take a look at how they all feel about their relationships, post-1D.

“I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world.”
— Malik on Facebook, March 2015

“@NaughtyBoyMusic Jesus forgot you were such an in demand producer …. How does it feel to be riding on the back of someone else’s career ?”
“@Louis_Tomlinson remember when you had a life and stopped making bitchy comments about mine ?”
— Tomlinson and Malik, respectively, fighting on Twitter in May 2015

“Yeah, there’s been a bit of back and forth. I think we’re on good terms with him. … I’ve never been very good at biting my tongue, maybe I get it off my mom. It’s just one of those things. Twitter’s great for connecting with the fans but also if you feel like saying something you probably shouldn’t, it’s also good for that as well. Or bad in this case.”
— Tomlinson, addressing his Twitter spat with Zayn on The Late Late Show With James Corden in May 2015

“Proud of my boys the new single is sick. Big love. x.”
— Zayn, on Twitter, August 2015

“Simply the funniest story I’ve read to date clearly the person who wrote this has never experienced friendly banter in their life. OH MY GOD THATS SO OUTRAGEOUS HOW DARE I HAVE A JOKE WITH A FRIEND ON STAGE.”
— Payne, responding to a story about him pushing Tomlinson onstage via Twitter in October 2015

“I actually don’t have any of my bandmates’ numbers, which I think is hilarious. I see them every day, so I don’t really need to text them. I’ll have to get [their numbers], which is quite funny.”
— Payne, to PEOPLE in November 2015

“Zayn did have different musical tastes, so that’s fine. I think in any field of work when you lose someone on your team, obviously it’s hard, but the positive take on the situation is we felt we definitely got closer as a group. … We sat down and spoke about it – this is something we all still want to do, so in the end we actually bonded together tighter, I think.”
— Tomlinson, to ET in November 2015

“We talk about having a lads’ holiday [during the hiatus], which could be massive. Even when we have like, two weeks off, by the time we have a couple days off and get back to work, we’re all raring to see each other again.”
— Tomlinson, to PEOPLE in November 2015

“Nah … I’ll be honest. I thought the first single was quite cool. I heard the second single and yeah, I didn’t buy [their] album.”
— Malik, to Billboard, January 2016

“The truth of it is, you can think one thing about a situation and the total opposite can happen. I had every intention of remaining friends with everybody, but I guess certain phone numbers have changed, and I haven’t received calls from a lot of people. I’ve reached out to a few of them and not got a reply. Certain people have pride issues, but it’s stuff you overcome in time.”
— Malik, to Billboard in January 2016

“The truth is I haven’t spoken to any of the boys at all really. I spoke to Liam a bit, and that’s just the way it is. I did try to reach out to a couple of people and they didn’t get back to me, but then publicly, when they were asked questions about it, said that they’d spoken to me and that we were friends. But that’s not the case. I tried to reach out and be their friend, but they haven’t even replied to any of my calls or texts.”
— Malik, to L’Uomo Vogue, January 2016

Are the One Direction Boys Even Still Friends? The Truth — In Their Own Words (2)

“I think the boys kind of knew – in terms of the music – that wasn’t my cup of tea. They obviously didn’t want me to leave, but they couldn’t talk me out of it at that point. I’d already made my mind up.”
— Malik, to Beats 1 Radio, January 2016

“I’m still probably the closest to Liam [Payne]. We talk on the phone He congratulated me on my single. Which was nice. I congratulated him on his Brit Award It was a good chat. We hadn’t met in a long time, so we want to meet up.”
— Malik, to NME, March 2016

Are the One Direction Boys Even Still Friends? The Truth — In Their Own Words (3)

“I tried to have contact [with the other band members], but nobody’s reached out. So … whatever.”
— Malik, to NME, March 2016

“[The break has] been brilliant. It actually doesn’t feel like we’ve been off – it’s been like six months already. I was talking to Louis the other day, it feels like only yesterday we were touring. It’s been really good to chill out, not really have a schedule and just being able to do our own thing, play golf and go to all the sporting events that I’ve wanted to for the last five years.”
— Horan, to Global Radio in June 2016

“Maybe at some point everyone will want to do something again but it’s better if it happens naturally. Like ‘Hey, we all really want to do something again.’ If that were to happen it would be amazing. I would never rule that out. It’s the most important, greatest thing that’s ever happened to me, being in that band.”
— Styles, to Another Man in September 2016

“Harry’s song I heard, and I’ll be honest with you, it’s not my sort of music. It’s not something I’d listen to, but I think he did a great job of doing what he wanted to do. That’s the way I’d put it best, I think. I think the funny thing is, he’d say the same thing about me because he doesn’t really listen to hip-hop music.”
— Payne, to Music Choice in May 2017

“I told my managers from the start: When One Direction comes knocking, fook what I’m doing. I don’t give a s—t if I sold out arenas or won Grammys. I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for that.”
— Horan, to Billboard in May 2017

Are the One Direction Boys Even Still Friends? The Truth — In Their Own Words (5)

“Look who I found!”
— Payne, celebrating running into Horan at the ZPL Birthday Bash in Indiana in June 2017

“But I think it was obvious to everyone that we were always five best mates on the road; it was real nice. And as time went on, we all began to understand each other. There are often misconceptions, but we’re all such good mates.”
— Tomlinson, to Noisey in July 2017

“All the boys came to support me [after my mother died], and I didn’t know until a couple of hours beforehand. It wasn’t one of those stupid f—ing celebrity things where it’s like, ‘Let’s all get in a picture and put it on Instagram and show everyone that we’re best mates’ — we didn’t even put it online. There are always those little things that people don’t hear about.”
— Tomlinson, to Noisey in July 2017

Are the One Direction Boys Even Still Friends? The Truth — In Their Own Words (6)

“My mum said, ‘You’ve got to get back in contact with Zayn. Life’s too f—ing short.’ A mother’s intuition is just f—ing crazy. It always felt supernatural to me. My mum always knew what I was feeling and what I wanted.”
— Tomlinson, to The Sun in July 2017

“[Zayn and I] got back in touch with each other and kind of cleared the air and talked everything through. So we’re mates again, I suppose. … Like anything like that, it takes time. But it was nice that we had an opportunity to clear the air and be adults about it, I suppose.”
— Tomlinson, to Andy Cohen in August 2017

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