Viola Davis and Meryl Streep Are the Ultimate Friendship Goals!
By Sophie Schillaci
Photo: Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
Get these two a set of friendship bracelets, already.
Viola Davis and Meryl Streep proved their ultimate #FriendshipGoals status this week -- first at Viola's Walk of Fame ceremony, then at the Golden Globe Awards.
On Thursday, Meryl took the podium in Hollywood to heap praise on her Doubt co-star as she was honored with a star on Hollywood Blvd.
"Viola Davis is possessed. She is possessed to the blazing, incandescent power. She is arguably the most immediate, responsive artist I have ever worked with," she said. "She's so alive, she glistens. She plants herself in a scene where she has no words and she writes paragraphs with her eyes. She's a force of nature . . . and she's the most generous, present person I know. She has earned every step on the ladder to the leadership position she now enjoys in this business."
Viola returned the favor on Sunday when, after picking up her own trophy for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture for Fences, she took the stage once more to present Meryl with the Cecil B. DeMille Award. She too had plenty to say about Meryl's intensity. Read the full speech below.
She stares. That's the first thing you notice about her. She tilts her head back with that sly suspicious smile, and she stares for a long time. And you think: Do I have something in my teeth? Or does she wanna kick my [expletive] — which is not gonna happen?
And then she'll ask questions. "What'd you do last night, Viola?"
"Oh I cooked an apple pie."
"Did you use Pippin apples?"
"Pippin apples, what the hell are Pippin apples? I used Granny Smith apples."
"Oh. Did you make your own crust?"
"No, I used store-bought crust. That's what I did."
"Then you didn't make an apple pie, Viola."
"Well, that's because I spent all my time making my collard greens. I make the best collard greens. I use smoked-turkey chicken broth and my own special sauce."
Silence. I shut her down.
"Well, they don't taste right unless you use ham hocks. If you don't use ham hocks it doesn't taste the same. So how's the family?"
And as she continues to stare you realize that she sees you. And like a high-powered scanning machine she’s recording you. She is an observer and a thief. She waits to share what she has stolen on that sacred place, which is the screen. She makes the most heroic characters vulnerable, the most known familiar, the most despised relatable. Dame Streep. Her artistry reminds us of the impact of what it means to be an artist, which is to make us feel less alone. I can only imagine where you go, Meryl, when you disappear into a character. I imagine that you're in them, patiently waiting, using yourself as a conduit, encouraging them, coaxing them to release all their mess, expose, to live. You are a muse. Your impact encouraged me to stay in the line.
Dame Streep, I see you. I see you. And you know all those rainy days we spent on the set of Doubt?
Every day my husband would call me at night and say, "Did you tell her how much she means to you?"
And I said, "No, I can’t say anything, Julius, I'm just nervous. All I do is stare at her all the time."
He said, "Well, you need to say something. You've been waiting all your life to work with this woman. Say something."
I said, "Julius, I’ll do it tomorrow."
"OK, you better do it tomorrow because when I get there I’m going to say something!"
I haven’t said anything. But I’m gonna say it now. You make me proud to be an artist. You make me feel that what I have in me, my body, my face, my age, is enough. You encapsulate that great Émile Zola quote that if you ask me as an artist what I came into this world to do, I an artist would say, I came to live out loud.
Viola obviously wasn't the only one with hearts in her eyes for Meryl on Sunday -- just look at Amy Adams, Ryan Gosling, Kerry Washington and Viggo Mortensen. (Not pictured: us, here in the ET newsroom.)
But these two will always have a special place in our hearts. Viva Merola!