"I'm starting to think it's gonna happen at some point," Liam Payne tells PEOPLE about the possible One Direction reunion

By Brianne Tracy
May 06, 2020 04:10 PM
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One Direction fans can still hold on to hope that there will be a reunion.

During a recent chat with PEOPLE to promote his new single "Midnight" with Swedish DJ Alesso, Liam Payne said that he and his former bandmates — Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan — are "in the middle of [figuring out] what to do" to mark the 10-year anniversary of the band's formation in July.

"Obviously, we know it's a very big anniversary and we definitely want to do something," Payne said. "I mean, it's a tough one. I can't promise any reunion plans because it just isn't it right now. I always put it down to music language because everyone's releasing at the moment with like two years worth of promo. But, you know, it still seems very hopeful in that department. I'm starting to think it's gonna happen at some point. So it's exciting."

While self-isolating amid the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Payne, 26, said he and his former bandmates were able to reconnect.

"The basis of our chat has been trying to get Alesso into the band somehow," he joked, before adding, "No, I'm just kidding. But we could do with a Swedish member, actually. It's been nice to open up the channels of communication again because we hadn't spoken for a while. And I think we all needed that after spending so much time together — just to figure out our own selves as people because we all know what we are in the band. We spent so much time together that I didn't know where the f— I fit in by the time it finished. It was kind of crazy."

"But it's been nice," he continued. "It's been so lovely. And it's just nice to see everyone turned out to be nice people, you know?"

One Direction
One Direction
| Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Though Payne was only joking about having Alesso, 28, join the band, the DJ said it would "fulfill" his "purpose in life" to be a part of it.

"That would be insane," he said. "I've always found that fascinating, how big they are and that kind of lifestyle. It's on another level, and I think it's crazy and scary but awesome at the same time. So I would like to try it out and see how I feel about it."

In addition to reconnecting with his former bandmates while in lockdown, Payne — who is quarantining with his girlfriend, model Maya Henry — said he has been FaceTiming with his 3-year-old son Bear, who is quarantining with his mom, Payne's ex Cheryl.

"FaceTime with my son can go any number of ways," Payne said. "I FaceTimed him before and he was on a trampoline in a princess dress with a pair of Wellington shoes on playing the ukulele. And then other times he's so interested in SpongeBob that his mom will be like, 'Say hi to Daddy,' and he's like, 'Hi, Daddy.' And then he's back in SpongeBob. It's so funny."

When he was a kid, Payne said he was the same exact way.

"I remember my granddad would phone, and I was always in the middle of something and like, 'I can't talk on the phone,'" he said. "So I know he's a lot like me in that sense. But it's been very tough. This has been a tough time to miss him knowing he's so close but so far away at the same time."

Payne said when he watched Bear recently, he put some random music on for him and Bear said, "No, Daddy's music!"

"I was like, 'That's so cool,'" he said. "Like, that's the coolest thing ever. Sometimes he does get me mixed up with Ed Sheeran. There's one Ed Sheeran song that he seems to think is mine."

Payne said he's "waiting for the government to give advice" until he sees Bear in person.

"I'd love to see him, but at the same time, I just don't know if it's worth the risk," he said. "You don't want to take the chance with that sort of thing. You have to be careful."

Liam Payne
Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

As a solution, Alesso suggested that Payne take a tip from Modern Family's Phil Dunphy, who uses a telepresence robot to be with his family while away.

"I can be a little cyber daddy," Payne said with a laugh.

When life returns to normal, Payne said he's most looking forward to seeing his son and getting McDonald's.

"McDonald's is closed in the U.K. and nuggets right now sounds fire as hell," he said. "Cheeseburgers sound good, McFlurrys sound good. It's all sounding good."

As for Alesso, he said he's going to "get so hammered that I'm not going to leave my house just as a f— you to corona."

"Jokes aside, I've missed my family in Sweden," he said. "It's just heartbreaking. I see my brother's videos when he visits my grandma but she's waving from the balcony. These times need to change."