Who knew Rami Malek didn’t want an old high school photo of him on the internet this much?!
As we’re leaning this week, apparently the Mr. Robot star took offense to an old throwback pic posted by former high school classmate Rachel Bilson. And what was supposed to be an innocent remembrance of days gone by turned out to be a dramatic little issue!
A little more than two years ago, the former The O.C. star put up a decade-old snap on her Instagram account showing off a teen aged Malek. The pair went to Notre Dame High School together in Sherman Oaks, California, and had been pals and drama club partners throughout those awkward teen years. As you can see (below), the pic itself isn’t even that embarrassing! Just an old high school photo of two good pals smiling for the camera:
Whoa! Surprising to see them at 16 years old — but, like, where’s the controversy?!
Bilson revisited this drama while sitting down for the latest episode of Armchair Expert, hosted by Dax Shepard, in which she recalled how not long after she posted the pic, Malek asked her to remove it.
As it goes, the actress published the snap during the 2019 awards season, where Malek was just coming into his own after having starred as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. So despite their close friendship in the past, he was at that point being very image-conscious, as Bilson explained to Shepard (below):
“Rami was a good friend of mine. 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. So 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. 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.”
About a week after uploading the shot, Bilson checked her Instagram DMs to find a surprise in there from Malek himself. Still, it wasn’t what she expected:
“ 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. ‘I was like, ‘Oh s**t, okay.’ I get like really hot, I like start sweating, and I get 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.”
Wow! But it was through Malek’s stylist, however, the 39-year-old actress quickly realized WHY the up-and-coming star was NOT a fan of the photo!
“I’m friends with his stylist and she was like, ‘Well it’s not a great picture of him.’ Okay, I’m sorry. We were 16! It was what it was. It was right before the Oscars, and I remember 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.’”
OMG! Whether it was nomination season or what, the picture hubbub certainly caused a rift between two former friends. In hindsight, Rachel added she “should’ve found something more flattering.” And of course she deleted the pic, even DMing him back:
“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. 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.”
No kidding! Us, too!
From friends to… whatever that is! That sucks!! Like, we get it, high school photos can be kind of embarrassing, but why dwell on it? Why make it a bigger deal than it is?! Malek went and made this whole thing into his own version of the Streisand Effect by not just letting it go! If he had done nothing, Bilson wouldn’t have had a story to tell on this podcast, people would’ve forgotten about the pic in a matter of days, and we wouldn’t be here re-visiting the issue now, ya know?!
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