afternoon e-mail blast. It’s super-easy, and it’s on the house!
Now that we’ve had time to process the news that One Direction is taking a break, let’s consider what each lad might do next.
The stock markets may be plunging this morning, but that only means that our finances will soon meet our hearts, which dropped through the floor and into the sub-basement of emotion this weekend when we all heard the news that One Direction is going on an open-ended hiatus next spring. Now, of course, the band says this isn’t the end, that they will get back together to do music again someday, but I’m pretty sure ’NSync said that too. Joey Fatone has sat by the phone waiting for that call for 13 years now, but it has never come. So we should not hold our breath for a 1D reunion any time soon.
Which, of course, is devastating. Every time one of these boy groups comes along and goes supernova, the world wonders if maybe,
this is the one group that lasts for the long haul, if they can power through the transition from boy band to just band and take a place on the stage of long-running acts. I guess New Kids on the Block have made something of a comeback, but that was after a
hiatus and really only exists because of diminishing nostalgia. Same for the Backstreet Boys’ minor resurgence. Mostly, they always disappoint us, these boy bands; or rather, the world lets us, and them, down. One Direction, so pretty and polished and sonically evolving, seemed like
they’d make it work, some pragmatic Britishness guiding their career path, even after the departure of Zayn Malik a few months back. Plus, Harry and Louis are probably going to be married soon, so wouldn’t they want to keep things together? We thought so. But we were wrong. So, it is a sad time.
But, we must soldier on, and look toward the horizon with a dim feeling of hope in our hearts. Hope for what’s to come for the lads we love.
, about the boys’ plans, so we can at least try to cling to those tidbits as we bob and swirl in our stormy sea of tears.
Harry Styles, in many ways the band’s mascot and chief heartthrob, will try his hand at both a solo music career
an acting career, which introduces the intriguing possibility of Harry moving to Los Angeles permanently and morphing into, I dunno, a gentler Mark Wahlberg? That would be interesting.
Of course Louis Tomlinson is getting ready to be a dad, a project that trumps any solo albums or anything. But the word on the street is that Louis is looking to get involved with a reality show called
, which will attempt to assemble a successful girl group. So, Louis is paying it forward, I guess, and looking for steady work that will keep him in one place. Is that place Los Angeles? It’s unclear. But, y’know, Harry might be in Los Angeles. So. Or he might be in London. So. Look, without stating ‘shipping speculation as fact, let’s just say I’d be very surprised if Harry and Louis don’t end up in the same place, y’know?
Meanwhile, Niall Horan, cheerful little leprechaun of the group, he’s headed back to County Westmeath to work his family’s farm, and of course to finally marry Aideen O’Malley, the freckly, rust-haired neighbors’ daughter. Well, no, actually, all we know of his plans is that he’s looking to solo as well. That’s all. Though, I like the idea of him returning to Ireland to live the rest of his life in some green idyll, with his bonny, busty bride and lots o’ wee ones running about. Winning a seat in local office, days spent shaking hands and saying how do you do, nights at the pub telling stories and having laughs, a tipple o’ whiskey or two, smoking pipe tobacco, singing pub songs. Wouldn’t that be nice? That’s what you should do, Niall. Forget a solo career. Haven’t you got enough money?
They say Liam Payne is looking to go solo, too, though I can see him being the one that disappears, can’t you? Not like
disappear, but just kinda fading out of the public eye, people wondering whatever became of Liam Payne. And then in 30 years or so,
magazine or something does a “Where Are They Now?” and tracks down Liam, and he’s living out in Wales, in Holyhead or somewhere, divorced but happy, got one kid, a daughter, in university. Spends most of his time reading books (“I was touring with the lads when everyone else was studying in school”), taking walks by the sea, maybe strumming about on a guitar sometimes. Hasn’t seen the other fellas in years and years, gets a card from Harry and Louis and their kid every Christmas (“Happy for ‘em. I couldn’t do that Hollywood life, though”), but that’s it. He shows the reporter from
a scrapbook with all of 1D’s clippings and says, “I haven’t looked at this in years,” and we believe him. And that’s all. That’s his life. Can’t you see it? I can.
And as for Zayn, who jumped ship early? Well, who’s to say. I see trouble in his future, maybe a few scrapes with the law or an unsavory sort. Maybe he shows up at Niall’s farm one day, looking scared and bedraggled, and Niall says, “Christ, Zayn Malik, the bloody hell are you doin’ in Mullingar?,” before letting him into the cottage. Aideen gets him some tea, and then a whiskey, and Zayn, worn and tired, tells some long convoluted story, the point of which is that he needs to borrow some money. “Just 10,000, that’s all,” Zayn says. And Niall sighs, looks to Aideen, who shrugs her shoulders in a resigned sort of way, and Niall says, “Oh Zayn, Zayn, Zayn,” and Zayn cries, and says “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” over and over again, and it’s clear that he’s not just saying sorry for the unexpected house call, but that he’s apologizing for a lot of things, from long ago. After paying off Zayn’s creditors, Niall offers him a job at the farm, where he works happily and lives in a little outbuilding. He courts a girl from town, sad-eyed Fiona Flannigan, and though he still looks over his shoulder sometimes, scared of who might have found him, Zayn Malik is mostly at peace.
Or, y’know, they do all get back together in two years and continue to take over the world! Who knows!
Richard LawsonRichard Lawson is a columnist for Vanity Fair's Hollywood, reviewing film and television and covering entertainment news and gossip. He lives in New York City.
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