Liam Payne is the second former One Direction member to start an acting career. The singer is set to star in a short film about his experiences in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Following his stint in the boyband, the “Strip That Down” singer has been vocal about his substance abuse struggles. Now, Liam is using a creative outlet to bring his past struggles to life.

“I went into therapy a couple years after [the band ended]. I kind of went off the rails a little bit and just couldn’t really figure out what was making me sad,” Liam said during a November 2019 interview with British GQ. “It was just such a strange course through life, and then when the switch turns off you’re left to your own devices. I was drinking too much and getting into really bad, bad situations for quite some time actually. And I hit a peak moment where I knew the drinking was going to get me; I needed to do something about it. I spent a lot of time drinking to escape the crazy world that I had created for myself. I didn’t know what I was doing.”

In June 2021, the LP1 musician further touched on his mental health struggles while appearing on “The Diary of a CEO” podcast, which is when Liam shared the story behind his upcoming short film. According to the British crooner, he attended AA meetings with fellow star Russell Brand — who was famously married to Katy Perry — and they were in a room with “everyone from prison guards to ex-soldiers to postmen to bin men.”

He continued, “It was the weirdest room. We’re in some old community church room and he’s taking the chair and doing standup.”

Liam’s podcast appearance isn’t the first time he credited Russell with helping him on his sobriety journey. In 2019, the former boybander appeared on the British talk show This Morning and recounted attending AA meetings with the comedian. “I had a thing with drink, and it was a guy called Chip Somers who got me sober. I was sober for about a year and visited Russell Brand. We went down to meetings together,” Liam said. “For anybody who’s having a problem with mental health, the best thing to do is speak to someone.”

When it comes to working on his short film, Liam explained on “The Diary of a CEO” podcast that it’s set to be a comedic take on his experiences. “I’m excited about the film. I showed it to one of my friends and she laughed a lot,” he said.

Scroll through our gallery for what we know about Liam’s movie so far. 

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Youth Crisis Hotline at 1-800-448-4663.

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