Zayn Malik is moving in a new direction after quitting the British boy band.

The 22-year-old, who made international headlines when he walked out of the band mid-way through their On The Again tour, appeared to hint that he might be interested in pursuing a career as an actor.

Malik was speaking to celebrated Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha at The Asian Awards when he revealed that acting was his first love.

Commenting on their conversation Gurinder, 55, told the Daily Mirror: "We've met and spoken. He trained as an actor first then became part of the band. So I think what he'll be doing is staying true to his heart - and that's all you can ever do."

The director, who is all set to present Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical on the West End stage, said however, she doesn't have a role for the star 'just yet' but will be keeping him in mind.

"I don't have a part in mind for Zayn just yet but hopefully in the future."

Malik recently revealed that he is a fan of Bollywood movies and learnt his 'lover boy' moves from watching the romantic, song and dance films. He named his favourite film as Bombay, a story of a couple in an inter-racial marriage set against the backdrop of communal riots and with a rousing musical score by Oscar winner A.R.Rahman.

The teen idol, who broke a million hearts when he announced he was engaged to be married to Little Mix's Perrie Edwards, said: "I was a lover boy around the age of ten. I always had an idea from an early age what it was like to be in love - it was only later I figured it out!"

Malik was also in the company of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who was being honoured for his Outstanding Contribution to Cinema at the lavish awards ceremony at Grosvenor House hotel.

The two posed together for selfies that instantly went viral on social media, while Zayn's mum and sister, clearly Bollywood fans themselves, couldn't hide their excitement at meeting the Indian superstar.

Khan praised Malik, describing him as "a fine young boy" and wished him success in the next part of his journey. Writing on Twitter he added: "This kid's so cool."

It was of course, Malik's first public appearance since he quit the British boy band, claiming that he wanted to "live a normal life." Collecting his award for Outstanding Contribution to Music he paid tribute to his former band mates describing them as "the best guys I've ever met."

The singer, who was visibly moved by the support from fans who had waited to catch a glimpse of him, turned to Twitter to thank everyone through the upheaval. 'Wanna say thanks to everyone that's been there for me over the last few weeks, love you all.. you know who you are x'

Music producer Naughty Boy, who was also spotted partying with Malik at The Asian Awards told OK! magazine that Zayn was more relaxed since leaving the band to go solo.

"I think he's more relaxed because he's doing his own thing. He's more in control and I don't think that's anything to do with making music, it's about his life."

While, Zayn is enjoying a break from the whirlwind life of a singer in the biggest boy band in the world, he had better make the most of it.

Bollywood could well be calling soon.