Viola Davis feels very happy when she receives a text from Meryl Streep.

The 'Fences' actress admits the screen icon - who recently penned her tribute as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People - always makes her feel ''good'' about herself because she is always very genuine and she still can't believe they are friends.

Speaking to 'Entertainment Tonight' at the Time 100 Gala, Viola said: ''What I love about Meryl is I always feel like she sees me.

''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.

''Besides the fact that it's Meryl Streep, she really doesn't have to give me anything really. 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!' ''

Viola - who worked with the 67-year-old actress in 'Doubt' in 2008 - recently won an Oscar for her role in 'Fences' but she admitted having Meryl write her Time tribute made the accolade even more special than other things she's won.

The 51-year-old star said: ''It feels good. It's not my style to kind of labour over awards. I get them, I kiss the statue, I put the statue on the shelf and then I get back to work, but I love feeling like people feel like I'm an influence.

''I know what it meant to me when [people like] Meryl, they made me feel like it was possible to dream in this little space that I had in my brain and my heart growing up in poverty, they made me feel like it was possible.

''So for me to do that for someone else means the world to me.''