Tom Hanks was ''afraid'' of Meryl Streep on the set of 'The Post'.

The 61-year-old Academy Award winner stars alongside the fellow Oscar recipient in Steven Spielberg's new movie - which marked the first time the two actors had ever worked together - and Hanks was initially in ''awe'' of his co-star.

Speaking to The I Paper, Hanks said: ''I'm in awe of Meryl Streep.

''I was afraid of Meryl Streep. I did not know what to say to Meryl Streep.''

Hanks isn't the only person on 'The Post' to pay tribute to Streep, 68, as Spielberg, 71, dubbed her the ''greatest actress'' working today.

He recently said: ''Meryl is unquestionably the greatest actress working in America today. She has no peer.''

The film follows Katharine Graham (Streep) who, as the first female publisher of The Washington Post, relies on the help of editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks) to catch up with The New York Times to break the story of the classified Pentagon Papers, which expose the US government's lies about the Vietnam War.

Together they must overcome their differences as they risk their careers to help bring the truths to light, whilst risking the future of the newspaper.

And Spielberg admitted he thinks it is absolutely the right time for the film to be released after he read the script last February.

He said: ''I thought this was the right time to talk about freedom of the press, to celebrate the hard work of journalism, how good journalists hold themselves to their own principles, in order to tell the truth and be able to back up that truth with facts. We're in the same situation today, only worse. They [American public] see the truth being labelled 'fake' or 'alternative facts' if it doesn't please those who are calling it out.

''And I thought: this is the time to tell this story, when we can all become part of this national conversation.''