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How Rachel Bilson Deals With the Criticism About Her NSFW Confessions

Rachel Bilson knows she's been sharing a lot lately. The actress, mom and animal lover talked to E! News about putting it all out there on her podcast Broad Ideas.

By Natalie Finn Nov 11, 2023 11:00 AMTags
Watch: Rachel Bilson Says She LOST a Job Over Sex Comments

When it comes to the unsolicited feedback Rachel Bilson inevitably receives every time she sends an episode of her raw, emotional and often uproarious podcast into the world, she takes a cue from her mother.

"My mom's quote to me my whole life is, 'It's none of my business what other people think of me,'" the actress told E! News in an exclusive interview during her Nov. 9 visit to the Pasadena Humane Society for a "Dog Day of Service" shining a light on pets in need, in partnership with Rachael Ray's Nutrish. "I have to remind myself of that a lot, because I want to be like, 'Oh my god, I'm so sorry!,' or make excuses, or explain."

That's why launching Broad Ideas last year with best friend and co-host Olivia Allen was a crash course in not fretting over other people's takes, whether they're from random online commenters or Whoopi Goldberg on The View.

And needless to say, the reformed people-pleaser does not read the comments and has advised Allen (who read 'em all in the beginning), to do the same.

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Rachel Bilson's Most NSFW Confessions

"The whole reason for the podcast is to create a safe space," Bilson explained, "where people can talk about anything and be heard and accepted."

Nevertheless, it's been the 42-year-old's sauciest revelations—be they about sex or breakups or dating while she was on The O.C., that tend to get the most attention.

And while she knows that those nuggets are part of a greater whole and she would encourage anyone to visit full episodes for context, Bilson admitted, "Sometimes I'm like, 'Ooh, I said that.'"

Gonzalo Marroquin/Getty Images for Nutrish®

She's perfectly comfortable sharing as a rule, she noted, but there can still be that moment of "stepping back and being like, 'Okay, now the world knows this!'" (It was her what's-your-number musings on men over 40 that caught Goldberg's attention, for instance.)

So, Bilson has also learned to "just sit in it" if her revelations cause a bit of excitement (or, in a more extreme case she cited on Broad Ideas, cost her a job). At the end of the day, she reasoned, "I have to stand by what we've created and be proud of it—'cause I am."

Meanwhile, so long as she's getting positive reviews from 9-year-old Briar Rose, her daughter with ex-partner Hayden Christensen, she's good.

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"Third grade is this whole other thing," Bilson said, explaining how this has been the age where there's "a lot of friend stuff" going on in her daughter's life, and her main priority is to send a kind and confident kid off to school each day.

Asked about the values she's been prioritizing lately for her daughter, Bilson immediately highlighted inclusivity, "because it really affects kids. I'm just witnessing these dynamics constantly, but she does such a good job."

And yes, she realizes that she's gushing about her own kid, but Briar Rose's inherent kindness is "something I always say that I'm most proud of," Bilson said, "because even other people say that about her. And I think that's the biggest thing we can teach kids is, no matter what in life, kindness should be first."

Whatever her child has gleaned from Taylor Swift—Briar Rose's first-ever concert happened to be a date to the Eras Tour with her mom—is also working for the Hart of Dixie star, who shared that her daughter was so inspired, she's taking guitar lessons and has started writing songs. (In addition to playing soccer, doing gymnastics and her countless other activities.)

But having "someone like Taylor to look up to couldn't be better," said Bilson, who divulged on her podcast that they had to leave early when her daughter's friends started to lose steam but it was still the best time ever.

Gonzalo Marroquin/Getty Images for Nutrish®

Attentive pet care is also on the lesson plan thanks to their rescue Gertie ("Gertrude, to be specific"), described by Bilson as the "8-pound ferocious little opinionated girl" they adopted after Briar Rose became "adamant" about wanting a dog.

Looking for a pet that might be better suited to their busy lives, the Nutrish advocate—who said her main goal at Pasadena Humane was "just trying to not leave with 10 dogs"—was at first thinking hamster. But it wasn't long before she caved.

And yes, it was the best decision ever. (Plus, Bilson's mom isn't just a font of wisdom, she's also a reliable doggy sitter.)

"My daughter's learning about shared responsibilities and just how much love a pet can bring," Bilson said. "She can just cuddle up with her and feel the most secure, and it's just beautiful to watch."

At this point in time, however, Briar Rose is "not in the place to pick up poop," she added. "It's just not working out for her. But that's ok, she'll work on it. Listen, that's no one's favorite job, let's be honest."

TMI? Not in our opinion.

Want to see more pictures of dogs? Of course you do, so read on to see more stars with their pups:

Jennifer Aniston

All we can say is "AWWWW!!"

Amanda Seyfried

The actress spends a sunny day with her best friend Flynn.

Chris Evans

No caption necessary!

Kristen Bell

The actress recently welcomed a three-legged dog named Whiskey to join their family. 

Awkwfina

"Everyone, meet Haeng-Un Lum, new to America and the newest member of my family," the actress wrote on her instagram.

Goldie Hawn

Goldie got a Goldie! The actress introduced us to Roy Hawn Russell early this year.

Reese Witherspoon

"Introducing Minnie Pearl," Reese captioned a November 2020 Instagram photo of the black and white French bulldog.

Lucy Hale

Pretty Little Liars alum Lucy Hale thanked the rescue organization Wagmor Pets for helping her adopt her new puppy Ethel.

Selena Gomez

The singer introduced fans to her new foster pup, Daisy, in March 2020.

Ice-T and Coco

In October 2020, the couple's two English bulldogs, King Maximus and Princess Alexus, welcomed five puppies.

Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes

In November 2020, the couple brought home this adorable puppy, Tarzan.

Ava Phillippe

Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe's daughter introduced her Instagram followers to her new rescue pup, Benji.

Chris Lane

The country singer and his dog Cooper team up with Merrick to spread awareness about their "BBQ 4 Good" campaign. 

Henry Cavill

A super pup deserves a super name: Kal. The Superman actor seems to have taken inspiration from his role when naming his American Akita.

Lisa Vanderpump

The Vanderpump Rules star shares the spotlight with her fabulous Pomeranian, Giggy.

Diane Guerrero

"My douuuugs," the author and Orange Is the New Black star shares on Instagram of her two pups.

Megan Thee Stallion

"Happy birthday to the coolest frenchie in the world," the rapper writes on Instagram of her little guy. "I love my puppy son so much and I couldn't picture my life without you."

Kaitlyn Bristowe & Jason Tartick

Puppy love! The Bachelor Nation couple is now a family of four with the addition of their two furry babies: Ramen and Pinot G (who are both Golden Retrievers).

J Balvin

Because two is better than one! The Colores singer strikes a pose with his adorable Golden Retrievers.

Ben Affleck & Ana de Armas

Coffee run! The new couple had an adorable pup join them while out in Los Angeles.

Glenn Close

Red carpet official! The actress posed with her dog on the blue carpet at the Independent Spirit Awards!

Jennifer Aniston

"EVERY VOTE COUNTS," the Friends alum captioned this sweet photo.

Paris Hilton

Smile for the camera!

Justin Theroux

Man's best friend! The actor took his dog Kuma out for a stroll in NYC.

Tom Holland

How cute is this photo? The Spider-Man actor received some love from a sweet pup in London.

Amanda Seyfried

Work with mom! The actress and her beloved dog Finn posed for photos together in the Big Apple.

Jason Kennedy

So sweet! The In the Room host and puppy Bennett Doodle Kennedy share an adorable bonding moment.

Lauren Scruggs

And a photo with mom!

Ariana Madix

That smile! 

Emily Ratajkowski

The actress and model's dog Colombo recently celebrated his first birthday!

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