LONDON (Reuters) - British boy band One Direction, one of the pop music industry’s biggest acts in the last two years, plan to show the world what they’re really like in a new 3D documentary that will premiere in London on Tuesday.
The five singers told a news conference in the British capital on Monday that “This Is Us” allowed them to present themselves in a more realistic manner than they are depicted on videos, in concert and on the ubiquitous social media sites that track their every movement on and off stage.
“There is only so much you can get across in terms of your personality, you know, social media and like 10-minute interviews you do with people,” singer Harry Styles said.
“So I think ...(it’s) a way for us to get across what we are like and what we are like with each other for the fans to see.”
Band members Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik and Styles were all on hand to talk about the behind-the-scenes film and the media interest that has engulfed them since they first became a group on a British TV talent show in 2010.
The film, directed by “Super Size Me” documentary maker Morgan Spurlock, includes concert footage, life backstage and on the road. But Styles laughed off one reporter’s question about whether footage with groupies or drugs had been edited out.
“This is a family press conference,” Styles said.
Spurlock said the film would show that part of the band’s success stems from their down-to-earth personalities.
“Part of the reason I think they have been so successful with their fans is that they are so incredibly grounded and normal and that’s what comes off in the movie, there’s no air of superiority,” he said.
One Direction shot to fame as runners-up on “The X Factor” television singing competition and have conquered the global market with two albums and a string of catchy hit singles. They said in May they are working on a third “edgy” album and will embark on a world tour next year.
The band, whose members are aged in their late teens and early 20s, topped the Billboard 200 album chart twice last year with “Up All Night” and their second album “Take Me Home”. They were named Billboard’s top new artist/group in 2012.
In an interview with Reuters TV on Monday, Malik said certain aspects of fame took the band by surprise.
“We never wanted to have the title ‘celebrity,’ we just want to be normal lads in a music band. We’re not celebrities, we’re just in a band,” the singer said.
Horan added that the documentary helped the band members themselves process the phenomenon that One Direction has become.
“Because we live in this bubble ... we don’t get to see exactly what it’s like because it’s happening to us,” he said.
Hundreds of fans have already started to camp out in London’s Leicester Square for a chance to see One Direction walk the red carpet at the film’s world premiere on Tuesday.
The band has a devoted following of fans around the world mainly comprising teenage girls, including 14 million Twitter followers, and Tomlinson said he felt a certain responsibility to the young fan base.
“Being put in this position, you almost feel with the likes of Twitter, you almost feel pressured to be that role model, and it’s kind of balancing that and meeting in the middle,” he said.
Additional reporting by Rollo Ross for Reuters TV and Piya Sinha-Roy in Los Angeles; Editing by Paul Casciato and Eric Walsh