For those who missed it, the singer admitted during a recent appearance on the “Diary of a CEO” podcast that he previously attended AA meetings with comedian Russell Brand. He also revealed that he wrote a short comedy script about the experience, which he hopes to turn into a film.
“There was everyone from prison guards to ex-soldiers to postmen to bin men, me and Russell. It was the weirdest room… We’re in some old community church room and he’s taking the chair and doing stand-up,” he recalled. “I am not going to give the script away and I’ve not spoken to Russ about it yet. But I am one of the characters. I’m excited about the film. I showed it to one of my friends and she laughed a lot.”
What Did Liam Payne Say About His Alcohol Addiction?
During a previous episode of the podcast, Payne got real about his mental health issues and his past struggles with alcoholism, especially during his time in 1D.
“I was worried how far my rock bottom was going to be. Where’s rock bottom for me? And you would never have seen it. I’m very good at hiding it. No one would ever have seen it,” he said, adding that there were even moments of “suicidal ideation.” “There is some stuff that I have definitely never, never spoken about. It was really, really, really severe. It was a problem.”
The “Strip That Down” crooner continued, “And it was only until I saw myself after that I was like, ‘Right, I need to fix myself.’ There were a few pictures of me on a boat and I was all bloated out. I call it my pills-and-booze face. My face was just like 10 times more than it is now. I just didn’t like myself very much and then I made a change.”
“So, at a certain point, I just thought ‘Well, I’m going to have a party for one,’ and that just seemed to carry on throughout many years of my life. And then you look back at how long you’ve been drinking and it’s ‘Jesus Christ, that’s a long time,’ even for someone who was as young as I was,” he told the outlet. “It was wild but it was the only way you could get the frustration out in the day. As a teen, the one thing you need is freedom to make choices and freedom to do stuff. We were always locked into a room at night. And then it would be car, hotel room, stage, sing, f-ed. So, it was like they pulled the dust cloth off, let us out for a minute to go ‘Woohoo’ then it’s like, ‘Get back underneath here!'”
He also said that the coronavirus lockdown didn’t help the situation. He explained, “Having a lot of time at home — I think a lot of people had this same sort of thing: alcohol. It was just getting earlier and earlier and earlier. Easier and easier to go to. What I’ve found more than anything with the alcohol is boundaries. If you’re on Zoom you can probably get away with being a bit tipsy, when you’re not supposed to be. I put on so much weigh. I was eating badly and describing it as a bulking period — ‘I’m doing it for a movie role! It’s all good!’ That’s the best excuse if anyone asks if you’ve put on weight. Say it’s for a role. It’s coming out 2022.”
But when the star saw himself on television, that’s when he realized he needed to make some major changes in his life. Now, he said he’s been sober for about a month. He also decided to end his relationship with Maya Henry — who he got engaged to last summer — since he “wasn’t giving a good version” of himself anymore.
“I’m disappointed in myself that I keep hurting people. That annoys me. I’ve just not been very good at relationships,” he admitted. “I know what my pattern of things is with relationships at this point. I’m just not very good at them so I just need to work on myself before I put myself on to someone else. That’s what happened with my relationship [with Henry]. I just wasn’t giving a very good version of me anymore. I feel better out of it. I didn’t feel good doing what I did but it had to happen.”
What Has He Previously Said About His Mental Health Issues?
It turns out, this isn’t the first time Payne opened up about the negative sides of being in the band.
“When you’re doing hundreds and hundreds of [concerts] and it’s the same 22 songs at the same time every single day, even if you’re not happy, you’ve got to go out there,” he told Men’s Health in July 2019. “It’s almost like putting the Disney costume on before you step up on stage and underneath the Disney costume I was pissed (drunk) quite a lot of the time because there was no other way to get your head around what was going on. I mean, it was fun. We had an absolute blast but there were certain parts of it where it just got a little bit toxic.”
The musician also explained why he “went off the rails” while chatting with GQ Magazine.
“I was drinking too much and getting into really bad, bad situations for quite some time actually. And I hit a peak moment where I knew the drinking was going to get me. I needed to do something about it,” he said. “I spent a lot of time drinking to escape the crazy world that I had created for myself. I didn’t know what I was doing. That first therapy session and being like, ‘I don’t even know what I like or anything about myself,’ it was pretty scary stuff. I was afraid of how far my career was going and that it might go even further. You can say, ‘Who is afraid of success?’ But that’s what it entails sometimes. Success has got the better of me on more than one occasion. When I am losing I tend to concentrate more.”
In another interview, Payne revealed that during his time in the band, he faced a bunch of “erratic highs and lows,” which made things a “bit dark.”
“It was very touch and go at times. It was a point where every day, you didn’t know whether it was going to be the end. It was so touch and go, at every single show. I was slowly losing the plot,” he shared. “I was like: ‘I don’t really know how to deal with this.’ Once you start, you can’t really press the stop button.”
Has He Ever Acted Before?
If this movie does happen, it’ll be the first time the 1D heartthrob has graced the big screen, However, he did reveal back in 2019 that he was auditioning for some acting roles.
“I’ve had some great auditions for a couple of different things, which have been amazing,” he said during an appearance on the Capital Breakfast Show. “I’m enjoying it. It’s a fun process.”
He even revealed that he had tried out for the upcoming West Side Story remake, but unfortunately, he didn’t get the role. In the end, it went to Ansel Elgort instead.
“The first thing I ever auditioned for was the remake of West Side Story, which is being done by Steven Spielberg,” he explained. “On my last birthday, I got a message saying, ‘You need to meet [Steven].’ So I had to go and do an audition in front of him which was quite wild. I didn’t get it but I was in the last 5 people for it, which I was quite happy with because it was a big part in the film. I mean, it was the first audition I had ever done and I put four tapes in and then managed to get to meet Steven Spielberg so it was pretty amazing.”
Well, we hope this flick makes it and we’re so glad Payne is doing better.