On Monday, Rachel Bilson appeared on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast for an interview. There, she told the world about the time that Rami Malek asked her to delete a high school photo of the two of them from her Instagram account. It all happened back in early 2019 when Oscar nominations were about to come out. Malek was a heavy favorite for a nomination for his performance in Bohemian Rhapsody.
According to Bilson, she had simple motivations when she posted the picture. Bilson and Malek had both gone to the same high school in Sherman Oaks, California. “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 told 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, Malek didn’t find this whole thing nearly as funny as Bilson did. She said that almost as soon as she posted the image, she got a very gruff DM from Malek. “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.”
Bilson felt this was an odd response from Malek. But despite finding his response a bit strange, she wasted no time honoring his request.
“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,” she said. “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.”
Later, she was told by Malek’s stylist that he simply wanted the photo taken down because he didn’t think he looked good in it. “She was like, ‘Well, it’s not a great picture of him.’ OK, I’m sorry. We were 16!”
Ultimately, Malek ended up winning the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.