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Viola Davis struggles to keep her cool around 'real friend' Meryl Streep

Viola Davis appreciates Meryl Streep's "specific" words of advice to her.

Viola Davis struggles to keep her cool when her famous friend Meryl Streep sends her text messages.

The Oscar-winning actress was recently named as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2017 and her Doubt co-star Meryl, 67, penned an essay for the publication praising Viola for empowering women.

While it's clear both women hold mutual respect towards one another, The Help star can't help but get excited every time she chats to triple Academy Award-winner Meryl.

"What I love about Meryl is I always feel like she sees me," Viola told Entertainment Tonight from the Time 100 Gala on Tuesday evening (25Apr17). "I never feel like the words she has for me are haphazard. I feel like they're very specific and they're well thought out and that makes me feel good. It makes me feel like she really is a friend, that she really takes me in.

"When she just sends me a text message she doesn't know I get so happy. I try to play it off, I really do, I'm like, 'Oh OK well have a good day,' but I'm really like, 'Oh my god, she texted me back!'"

Although the 51-year-old is grateful to receive awards for her work she insists she isn't the type to "labour" over her accolades, instead preferring to hear that others are influenced by her.

One of Viola's main focuses in ensuring she remains a good role model for her daughter Genesis, who she adopted as a newborn in 2011 with husband Julius Tennon.

"Well, you know, my big saying with her, now she says, 'Mommy, I know,' but I tell her, I said, 'Genesis, I want you to say it over and over. My name is Genesis Tennon, I own my story, the good and the bad,'" she smiled of keeping her child down to earth.

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