Berenice Bejo, Meryl Streep

Jason Merritt/Getty Images; Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Bérénice Bejo jokes that she's continually pinching herself these days with disbelief.

She has good reason, because it was only few short months ago when not many people in Hollywood knew much about her—or The Artist, for that matter.

But now it's acting legends like Meryl Streep who are introducing themselves to her and giving praise—yes, Meryl Streep...

"Meryl came up to me and said that she and her family watched the movie three times and that the movie will stay around forever," Bejo told me at the DGA Awards. "She said I should be very proud of it."

"I almost cried," Bejo said, even choking up a little as she told me the story. "I have to keep myself from crying now. She is so wonderful...You just want to hold her. She's so real."

Not that the average moviegoer's fandom has any less meaning.

"It's unbelievable," said Bejo, who is a first-time Oscar nominee for her work in The Artist. "The response of the American audience has been so big. It's so touching."

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