Rachel Bilson Says Rami Malek Once Asked Her to Remove a Throwback Photo of Them from High School

Rami Malek told Rachel Bilson that he is "a really private person" when he asked her to remove the photo from Instagram

Rachel Bilson, Rami Malek
Photo: getty images

Rachel Bilson is opening up about a trip down memory lane that didn't exactly go as planned.

While appearing on a recent episode of Dax Shepard and Monica Padman's Armchair Expert podcast, the 39-year-old actress recalled a time when Rami Malek asked her to delete an old photo of the two from high school she had posted on Instagram.

Back in 2019, Bilson shared a throwback snap of herself and Malek, also 39, as teenagers in New York City.

"Hey @ramimalek where'd you get that gold chain?" she captioned the post at the time, poking fun of the star and his past '90s fashion look.

Bilson also added the hashtags "#tbt" "#oscarworthy" and "#dontforgetthelittlepeople" to her post as well.

Rachel Bilson; Rami Malek
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images; Dominique Charriau/WireImage

Noting during her conversation that she and Malek both attended Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California, Bilson explained that the pair had a past friendship.

"Rami was a good friend of mine. "We were [in] the same crew," she said during the podcast. "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."

So when Malek began to gain recognition during the 2019 awards season for his role as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, Bilson thought it would be fun to share the throwback photo on social media.

"So obviously, he gets super famous and he's always been extremely talented, a really amazing actor, even in high school," she explained. "I had posted a throwback of us from our senior trip to New York, Broadway. We're super nerdy, [it was] 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."

But after sharing the photo, Bilson said that Malek reached out to her directly in regards to the snap she shared.

"I don't usually check my DMs on my Instagram and maybe a week goes by and I actually look and I have a message from Rami," the Hart of Dixie star said. "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.'"

RELATED VIDEO: 'Bohemian Rhapsody's Rami Malek On Playing the Role Of Freddie Mercury: There Was No Hesitation At All'

The response, Bilson said, caught her off guard and caused her to panic.

"I was like, 'Oh, s---! OK.' I get really hot and start sweating," she said. "I'm all nervous, like, 'Oh god! What did I do?' He was a 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,'" Bilson continued, before she shared another interaction she had with The O.C. creator about the photo. "It was right before the Oscars and I remember 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," the actress 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."

A rep for Malek did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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