Zayn Malik “Always Struggled” With Life on the Road, Says 1D Filmmaker

Zayn Malik
Zayn Malik was largely known as a "homebody" during his One Direction days and "always struggled" on the road, says 1D documentary director Morgan Spurlock. Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire

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When Zayn Malik walked away from his $75 million-a-year gig with One Direction last month in search of a simpler life, it wasn't a total shock to those in the know. Fans may still be trying to come to terms with the British hunk's 1D departure, but filmmaker Morgan Spurlock — who directed the band's 2013 One Direction: This Is Us documentary — saw the signs loud and clear.

"He always struggled with being on the road," Splurlock, 44, said in a March 31 interview with HuffPost Live. "He's a homebody and wanted nothing more than to sit in his house, spray paint, draw and do art. Being on the road and away from his girlfriend just got to him."

Indeed, Malik's romance with fiancee Perrie Edwards — which was called into question when photos of the singer, 22, with his arms around a female fan surfaced in March — proved to be a catalyst for change.

Malik first announced his departure from the 1D world tour on March 19; on March 25, he announced he was leaving the band for good. "He couldn't deal with the stress of saving his relationship and being on the road," an insider tells the new issue of Us Weekly.

Splurlock isn't alone in calling Malik an introvert. Banding together with Niall Horan, 21, Liam Payne, 21, Harry Styles, 21, and Louis Tomlinson, 23, during the UK's The X Factor in 2010, Malik was known to lock himself in his room and call in sick for performances. Still, Malik's bandmates never expected such a decision. "They always thought he'd quit one day but they were floored when he called and told them he wasn't coming back for good."

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