On Tuesday night in New York City, the 74-year-old actor took the stage at the National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala to deliver a sweet speech about Streep, who was being given the award for Best Actress.
"Meryl is the most generous and giving actor," said De Niro, who starred in the 1984 film Falling in Love and the 1978 movie The Deer Hunter with the 68-year-old actress. "She not only inhabits her own character, she helps bring out the character of everyone else on the screen."
De Niro went on to commend Streep for her work off camera. "Meryl, thank you for speaking out on matters of conscience that affect us all," he praised. "Thank you for being an actress who plays the most interesting characters with full commitment and without judgement."
Concluding his speech, the Godfather star gushed, "Meryl doesn't seem to have any imperfections. And I say that with the most love for you, Meryl. I love you so much."
Streep showed her appreciation for De Niro's kind words by giving him a hearty hug and greeting him with a big kiss on the lips.
"It made me remember what a real leader sounds like," she expressed. "What passion and conviction and principal attached to a speech and rhetoric, how it can pull us all together and really burn a hole in history. It just takes a few people, and courage begets courage, and that's what we need."