Zayn Malik is opening up like never before in an in-depth interview with the Evening Standard‘s ES Magazine, discussing everything from why he wishes he’d had a few more years of anonymity before worldwide fame, and how he wooed girlfriend Gigi Hadid with steak-and-potato pie.
In addition, Malik also gets candid about his ongoing struggle with anxiety. “I want people to see the good side to me and, yeah, the emotional stress of maybe not fulfilling that is a lot sometimes,” he admits. “Anxiety is something people don’t necessarily want to advertise because it’s seen, in a way, like a weakness. I speak about it so that people understand that it doesn’t matter what level of success you have, where you’re from, who you are, what sex you are, what you do — you can still experience these things. For me to pretend that I didn’t have anxiety would be fake.”
On girlfriend Gigi Hadid, he says they’re as together as a couple can be, given their respective busy schedules. “We haven’t officially swapped keys or anything yet, we live together wherever we are,” he says, revealing he likes to cook for her, especially “steak and potato pie, Sunday roast dinner and Yorkshire pudding… she likes a good Yorkshire pudding.”
During the interview, Malik is read the official statement he gave upon leaving One Direction. “I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year- old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight,” reads the statement; upon hearing the words, Malik smirks and tells the interviewer: “’m going to ask you a question now — do you think I wrote that? Like, look how it’s worded. I’m not a 35-year-old lawyer. I don’t write like that. ”
Looking back at the whirlwind of the past few years, Malik admits he now regrets signing a record deal with One Direction after the Brit boy band sprang to fame by winning the U.K. TV talent competition “The X Factor”.
Admitting he’s “super thankful” for his success, he adds: “But I probably wouldn’t have [signed] — I would’ve waited a couple more extra years. Just so I had that time to just get my head around being a famous person. I’ve never been able to have, what’s the word? Anonymity… if I could go back, I’d have a few more years of anonymity.”
You can read more with Zayn Malik in this week’s edition of ES Magazine.