The actress, 39, recently appeared on the “Armchair Expert” podcast hosted by Dax Shepard and Monica Padma and opened up about an interaction she had with the Oscar winner several years after attending school together.
Back in 2019, Bilson shared a throwback photo of herself and Malek, also now 39, as teenagers in New York City.
“Hey @ramimalek where’d you get that gold chain?” she captioned the post, poking fun at the 1990s fashion, per E! News.
“Rami was a good friend of mine,” the star explained on the podcast. “We were [in] the same crew. We did the Crucible together senior year, we were the leads in it together.”
“Obviously, he gets super famous and he’s always been extremely talented … even in high school,” she continued. “I had posted a throwback of us from our senior trip to New York. 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.”
The star said that she normally doesn’t check her direct messages on Instagram, but noticed one had come through 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,'” she recalled. “I was like, ‘Oh, s—! OK.’ I get really hot and start sweating.”
She added: “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.”
“I’m friends with his stylist and she was like, ‘Well it’s not a great picture of him,'” the actress said. “It was right before the Oscars and I remember [writer] Josh Schwartz being like, ‘You did him dirty. He’s about to be nominated.'”
She said she “should’ve found something more flattering” but ended up removing the image and sending an apology note to Malek, encouraging him just before he nabbed an Oscar.
“I never hear anything back, which is fine,” she said. “But I was super bummed because he was always so nice and we were good friends.”