The 39-year-old opened up on Dax Shepard and Monica Padman’s “Armchair Expert” podcast on Monday, March 29, about the tricky situation when she posted a pic of her and Malek in New York City when they were teenagers. "Hey @ramimalek where'd you get that gold chain? #tbt #oscarworthy #dontforgetthelittlepeople," she captioned the pic which was posted in February 2019.
"Rami was a good friend of mine," she explained as they both attended Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif., and said they did not lose contact. "We were [in] the same crew. We did the Crucible together senior year, we were the leads in it together—all these things."
The O.C. star wanted to celebrate Malek’s success at the time after his role as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody saw him in the running at the Oscars, Golden Gloves and SAG Awards. Malek took home an Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and a SAG Award for his stint as the late Queen frontman.
"Obviously, he gets super famous and he's always been extremely talented... even in high school," she explained. "We're super nerdy...just the dorkiest picture of the both of us. But I throw it up, 'cause it's funny and I think it's so important to be able to make fun of yourself," she said of the pic but Malek was not happy about it.
"I don't usually check my DM's on my Instagram... maybe a week goes by and I actually look and I have a message from Rami. But it wasn't like, 'Hey! How are you?!' It was straight to: 'I would really appreciate if you take that down. I'm a really private person.'"
"I was like, 'Oh, s**t! OK.' I get really hot and start sweating," Bilson said. "I'm all nervous, like, 'Oh god! What did I do?' He was a really good friend, it's a funny picture...you know? I don't take myself that seriously."
Malek’s hairstylist, who is a friend of Bilson’s explained that the Night at the Museum actor did not like the photo because it was not "a great picture of him." "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.'"
"I was like, I guess I should've found something more flattering," Bilson added. "But I removed it and I even wrote to him a really nice message: 'I'm so sorry. Go get the Oscar! You're doing amazing.' And I never hear anything back, which is fine. But I was super bummed because he was always so nice and we were good friends."