When Louis Tomlinson stepped onto the X-Factor stage in 2010, little did he know how far his audition — Plain White T's' "Hey There Delilah" — would take him. Back then, he was your average British teen busy with his school's theater program. Today, he's a pop star with millions of adoring fans. Being in a world-famous boy band will do that you.
"I've got two sides to me when it comes to that kind of thing," the former One Directioner told Noisey in a revealing new interview. "What I really can't ever get used to, or really enjoy, are these super geared-up celebrity parties — where he's there, she's there — and everyone pretends to be friends like they've known each other for years, like, oh, how are the kids?! But no one actually cares."
At times like that, Tomlinson remembers his hometown squad from Doncaster, England. "For me, I much prefer messy nights out with my friends from home," he continued, adding that he also turns to these pals for honest advice.
"I like to think that if I came out in some awful tracksuit," Tomlinson explained, "they'd all tell me about it on WhatsApp, and in three months time I'd be like, thank you for telling me, I looked like a right dick! Because if you get to a stage where you disconnect from those friends from home, other people don't really dare go there... You can surround yourself with super successful celebrities, but you can get swallowed up in the glitz and the glam of it all."
Of course, there's also Tomlinson's fellow 1D bandmates (and "best mates on the road"): Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and at one time, Zayn Malik. Even though they're going in separate directions these days, they still came together to support Tomlinson's emotional performance as a solo artist on X-Factor last December. His debut solo single, "Back to You," is expected to drop this Friday. Talk about coming full circle.