Rachel Bilson and Rami Malek were friends in high school—a tidbit the O.C. actor opened up about in an interview on Dax Shepard‘s podcast, Armchair Expert. And like all high school pals, the two have some awkward, throwback photos together. Two years ago, right before Malek won his Oscar for Bohemian Rhapsody, Bilson posted one of those pics to her Instagram—and according to her, Malek wasn’t too thrilled about it.
“Rami was a good friend of mine,” Bilson said on the podcast, according to EW. “We were the same crew. We did The Crucible together senior year. We were the leads in it together, all these things. We kind of kept in contact a little bit.”
In 2019, Bilson decided to have a little fun and share a pic of them from back in the day to her Instagram. “I had posted a throwback of us from our senior trip to New York, Broadway. We were super-nerdy, just the dorkiest picture of both of us,” she said to Shepard. “But I throw it up ’cause it’s funny, and I think it’s so important to be able to make fun of yourself, and he had like a gold chain, and I’m like, ‘Rami where’d you get the gold chain?’ Whatever. So I’m just being funny, we were good friends.”
However, Bilson found out through Malek’s stylist that he wasn’t a huge fan of the photo. “She was like, ‘Well, it’s not a great picture of him.’ Okay, I’m sorry. We were 16!” she recalled. “It was what it was. It was right before the Oscars, and I remember [The O.C. creator] Josh Schwartz being like, ‘You did him dirty! He’s about to be nominated.’ And I’m like, ‘What do you mean? This was my friend; it’s a funny picture.'”
Ultimately, Bilson decided to remove the pic from IG and send Malek an apology. “I wrote to him a really nice message, like, ‘I’m so sorry. Go get the Oscar, you’re doing amazing.’ And I never hear anything back,” she said. “But I was super-bummed because he was always so nice and we were good friends, and I’m a big fan of not taking yourself seriously, especially at that level of fame and talent. But look, he wants to be super-respected, it’s his thing, so I respected it. I took it down. I was just a little bummed at how it was handled.”
Bilson said Malek wrote back a week later. “But it wasn’t like, ‘Hey! How are you?’ It was straight to ‘I would really appreciate it if you take that down, I’m a really private person,'” she revealed. “I was like, ‘Oh shit, okay.’ I get like really hot, I, like, start sweating, and I get all nervous.”
Listen to Rachel Bilson’s full conversation on Armchair Expert here.