Louis Tomlinson Admits He Was Jealous of Harry Styles’ Success: ‘I’d Be Lying If I Said It Didn’t Bother Me’

Louis Tomlinson is blossoming in his solo career, but he also isn’t shying away from talking about his roots. The 30-year-old singer-songwriter famously started out in the five-piece boy band One Direction, and in a new interview, he opened up about everything from feeling jealous of his former bandmate Harry Styles to the possibility of a reunion.

Two days ahead of the Friday (Nov. 11) release of his second studio album Faith in the Future, Tomlinson was candid with Telegraph about how he used to feel when comparing his solo trajectory with that of Styles, who has released three No. 1 albums, scored two No. 1 singles and toured through stadiums across the world on multiple occasions since One Direction disbanded in 2015.

“I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me at first,” the “Back to You” singer admitted of Styles’ success. “Only ‘cos I didn’t know where to place myself, and really my only point of reference was other members of the band. But it’s not surprising to me that Harry’s the most commercially successful because he really fits the mold of a modern star.”

Tomlinson also pointed out Styles’ blossoming film career. The 28-year-old “As It Was” musician starred in two feature films just this year: Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling and Michael Grandage’s My Policeman.

“He’s not just doing music, he’s got film as well, and the tour he’s done is unbelievable,” Tomlinson added to the U.K. publication. “It took me a while to work out where I stand.”

But as singular as Styles’ accomplishments are, Tomlinson said he feels proud of his former bandmate. “I look on Harry like a brother, man,” he said. “I have a lot of pride for what he’s doing.”

Styles and Tomlinson have been specifically grouped together for years by the public, even when both were still part of a band with Niall Horan, Zayn Malik and Liam Payne. The two found themselves at the center of an internet obsession with the idea of them being a romantic couple — often referred to as “Larry Stylinson,” a combination of their names — and the resulting theories and fan art became so pervasive, recreations of it were once featured in a graphically sexual sequence on HBO’s Euphoria.

“It’s weird, all that s–t,” he said, also speaking on the upcoming Anne Hathaway-led film adaptation of The Idea of You, a piece of One Direction fan fiction. “But there’s not much you can do about it. I’d rather they didn’t … but it is what it is. I won’t be watching it.”

In spite of all they’ve gone through together, be it social media squabbles or the occasional airing out of dirty laundry, Tomlinson said he and his 1D bandmates are on good terms these days. “I’m sure the lads will text me when the album comes out — we check in on each other, we’re good like that,” he said.

“I bumped into Niall at Glastonbury, and even though we hadn’t spoken all year, it was like no time had passed. Because we’ve lived through such experiences together in One Direction, this bond that we have is for life.”

When it came to the possibility of a One Direction reunion, however, Tomlinson wasn’t so sure — though he definitely hasn’t ruled one out. “I don’t see anything happening for at least another 10 years, but you never know,” he said. “It looks pretty jumbled. But I think there is a world where it all kind of fits together.”

Hannah Dailey