(L to R) Zayn Malik, Morgan Spurlock, Liam Payne and Harry Styles attend the World Premiere of 'One Direction: This Is Us 3D' in London on Aug. 20, 2013.
Dave M. Benett—Getty Images
April 1, 2015 5:36 PM EDT

Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock spent a lot of time with One Direction for his 2013 documentary One Direction: This is Us—six months to be exact. So it’s no surprise that he, like many a teenage girl, was disappointed to hear Zayn Malik left the group last week. “Like everyone else, a little piece of my heart broke the day Zayn left,” he told EW. “I shed a little tear.”

On a more serious note, Spurlock said that “being on the road like they’re on the road is a really hard thing.”

“I was with them for six months and it’s an exhausting lifestyle,” he said. “And I think that it just gets hard after awhile, for someone, probably like Zayn, who is a homebody already, but is also incredibly talented, the allure of being able to potentially leave and become a solo artist in the midst of all your success is probably better than waiting till the end.”

Malik released a statement when he left saying he wanted “to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight,” but that relaxation period didn’t seem to last too long: A solo demo of his leaked Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

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