Storyboard, Tumblr's recently launched journalism project that highlights the stories of the talented creators of the Tumblr blog and their work, is set to go deep inside the world of One Direction mega-fans for a weeklong feature titled "Special Report: Inside the Crazy World of 1D Fandom."
There are myriad blogs on Tumblr dedicated to the band, many of which can easily be described as fan fiction. The blogs turn members Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson into fictionalized characters who, especially in the case of Styles and Tomlinson, engage in relationships that are, well, far more intimate than the ones the guys have in real life.
Talking to the creators of Storyboard for "Inside the Crazy World of 1D Fandom," Tomlinson admitted that the fan fiction has impacted his real-life relationship with Styles.
Asked whether he or his bandmates ever feel pressured to live up to the "characters" that their fans create or whether it is strange to have entire websites created around fictional relationships within the band, Tomlinson said, "This is a subject that was funny at first but now is actually hard to deal with as I am in a relationship. ... It is actually affecting the way me and Harry are in public. We want to joke around, but there seems to be a different rumor every time we do anything."
Fan obsession is nothing new for One Direction. Just last week, a video still of Styles appearing to kiss Horan onstage during a concert — a moment that was, by all accounts, the result of a camera-angle quirk and two bandmates whispering to each other — inspired countless breathless stories and speculation. In general, of course, the guys have become so recognizable that they are unable to walk around major cities, as Horan recently told MTV News.
"We've had some crazy times on this tour. When we were in New York, we were on our day off, and me and Liam were going down the street with one of our security guys and we got absolutely mobbed by about 600 people in Times Square, so it was kind of nuts," Horan said. "That was the first kind of day where I thought, 'OK ... can't take a walk down the street.' "
Storyboard's weeklong look into the world of 1D fandom kicks off Monday (July 9) at 10 a.m. ET at storyboard.tumblr.com.