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Oscars 2022: Liam Payne’s “bizarre” new accent confuses fans

Payne was asked in an interview to share his thoughts on Will Smith slapping Chris Rock

By Tom Skinner

Liam Payne speaks in a YouTube interview
Liam Payne (Picture: YouTube)

Former One Direction star Liam Payne has confused fans after adopting a new accent while giving an interview at last night’s Oscars.

Payne was asked by ‘Good Morning Britain’ to share his thoughts on the moment Will Smith took to the stage during the ceremony to slap Chris Rock, who had made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss as a result of alopecia.

“Will Smith actually used to live behind my house, I’ve had the pleasure of knowing his son and his daughter very well,’ the singer began, speaking with a noticeably different twang. “We did ‘Men In Black III’ with him.”

He continued: “I believe whatever he felt that he did, he had the right to do. I also felt there were three losers in one fight. He didn’t know, being Chris Rock, he didn’t want to do what he had to do, being Will Smith, and she did nothing, being Jada.”

Later, Payne explained that he “had to leave my chair” after witnessing the incident unfold. “It cut me really deep,” he added. “And I don’t get deep about these things, but I’m a big movie fan, I’ll be honest with you.”

Following the appearance, numerous ‘GMB’ viewers took to social media to comment on Payne’s new accent, with some saying that he “sounds Dutch”. The singer is from Wolverhampton, but is currently residing in Hollywood, Los Angeles (via Metro).

Another Twitter user said that he sounded like a “gushing LA wellness influencer”, while someone else wrote: “Will Smith assaulted a man on live tv and Liam Payne’s accent is still the worst thing to happen at the Oscars.”

Others described the newfound twang as “bizarre” and “fake”. Elsewhere, a viewer said: “There is a conspiracy theory going round that Liam Payne has consumed all the other One Direction lads, and as a result his accent is now from everywhere in the British Isles.”

You can see those reactions and more below.

This year’s Oscars took place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, having been postponed from its original date in February due to COVID-related issues. Big winners included ‘Dune’ and ‘CODA’, with the latter film being awarded the Best Picture statue.

You can see the full list of winners here.

One attendee said that “the whole place was stunned” by Will Smith slapping Chris Rock. “Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me,” a stunned Rock told the audience afterwards.

Later, Smith won Best Actor for his role as Richard Williams in King Richard, (the film received six nominations total). He approached the stage with a smile, appearing to reference the run-in.

“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world,” Smith said. “I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people. And to be a river to my people. I know to do what we do you gotta be able to take abuse, have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you and you gotta smile and pretend like that’s OK.

“I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” he added. “Art imitates life; I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams. Love will make you do crazy things …I hope the Academy invites me back.”

In other news, it’s been announced that Liam Payne will captain the England team at this year’s Soccer Aid, which is due to take place in London on June 12.

Meanwhile, his former 1D bandmate Harry Styles has shared details of his third solo studio album, ‘Harry’s House’. The follow-up to 2019’s ‘Fine Line’ arrives on May 20. He’ll showcase the record on his UK and Ireland stadium tour this summer.