Meryl Streep jokes that Nicole Kidman is so good at acting it’s ‘traumatising’

Meryl Streep made the most of her AFI Life Achievement Award presentation to Nicole Kidman over the weekend.

The two actors costarred together in the 2002 film The Hours and season two of Big Little Lies.

Streep had the audience laughing as she joked about “the very, very hardest part of being incessantly called the greatest actress of my generation”.

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“What is the hardest part?” Streep joked.

“Oh! The hardest part is when you come up against, or you’re acting with, another person who is also really, really, really, really, really, really great. That’s difficult.”

Working with Kidman on Big Little Lies, Streep said, was the was the time she “came within breathing distance of the formidable gifts Nicole has, and her process and her seismic bank of emotion she’s got locked up inside there and her stamina and her drive to be an artist and her discipline.”

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She cited Kidman opting on the first day of filming to do an emotional scene multiple times, delivering a stellar performance each take.

“I haven’t recovered from that first day, I’ve never seen anything like that in my life,” Streep said.

“For me, it was traumatising because I thought this woman is a Valkyrie. How is she able to sustain that? Never letting up, never letting down.”

Kidman returned the love as she accepted the award.

“I don’t know what it is but you’re a beacon of excellence and warmth and generosity but you’ve been my guiding light, so to receive this from you, you have no idea,” Kidman said of Streep.

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“My husband will attest, my parents will attest, it’s always been you, and no one can touch you.”

The event will premiere on TNT on June 17 and on Turner Classic Movies on June 27, which like CNN are part of Warner Bros. Discovery.

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