Is Zayn Malik Still Friends With Former One Direction Bandmate Louis Tomlinson?

Many One Direction fans loved the bond between Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson while they worked together, even calling them “Zouis.” The two seemed to love joking around together in the earlier years, but there was a noticeable shift toward the end of Malik’s time in the group. After Malik left the band in 2015, his relationship with Tomlinson appeared nonexistent. Here’s what happened to their friendship, and if they’re still as close anymore.

Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson dancing during One Direction 1D Day in 2013
Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik during One Direction 1D Day in 2013 | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson seemed like friends in One Direction

While the band members had a nonstop work schedule in One Direction, there were many video clips that showed Malik and Tomlinson having fun together in their infrequent downtime.

They could be seen goofing off with one another, and even affectionate by often hugging and cuddling in interviews. The two did segments together during 1D Day, which was a seven-hour live stream event the band did to promote the Midnight Memories album in 2013.

However, fans noticed that after Malik left the band in 2015, things seemed different. What had looked like a friendship in the band no longer appeared the same, at least publicly.

Here’s what changed about their friendship and what has been said about their bond.

Zayn Malik has since distanced himself from Louis Tomlinson

RELATED: Is Zayn Malik Friends With Harry Styles After One Direction Hiatus?

While people loved the friendship between Tomlinson and Malik, Malik shot down the idea that the two were buds after he left the band.

“I didn’t really, like, make any friends from the band,” he revealed to GQ in 2018. “I just didn’t do it. It’s not something that I’m afraid to say. I definitely have issues trusting people.”

Furthermore, almost every member came to Tomlinson’s performance of “Just Hold On” with Steve Aoki on The X Factor following his mother’s death in 2016. All showed up except for Malik. That didn’t help their relationship, Tomlinson revealed.

“Truthfully, it never really got better,” Tomlinson said on The Dan Wootton Interview podcast per Teen Vogue. “I had a couple of calls with him after I lost my mum, and all the boys had agreed to come to that performance and he didn’t show, so that really bugged me.”

Tomlinson spoke more about his friendship with Malik and what needs to happen for them to move forward.

Louis Tomlinson had this to say about Zayn Malik friendship

The two haven’t yet remedied their relationship, per Tomlinson’s interview with The Zach Sang Show in 2019.

“I don’t think me or him are mature enough yet to have that conversation,” Tomlinson revealed. “I’m not ready to have that chat yet. I gotta keep it real. That’s what happens. You make your bed.”

The oldest One Direction member made it clear that he and Malik hadn’t repaired their bond yet. When asked what would need to happen for that to change, Tomlinson said the following.

“I’m open, I feel a bit more mature and a bit less bitter about it, if I’m being honest,” he concluded. “It’s one of those. People say, ‘Time’s a healer,’ and all that, so we’ll see.”