"I've never met her. I admire her so much," the Phantom Thread star tells PEOPLE

By Mike Miller
February 20, 2018 01:00 PM

Watch the Jess Cagle Interview, sponsored by Ford.

If Lesley Manville could have dinner with any actor that ever lived, she’d pick one of her famous contemporaries.

“I think it would have to be Meryl Streep,” the Phantom Thread Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actress tells PEOPLE. “I’ve never met her. I admire her so much. Not just for her huge, enormous chameleon talent, but she just seems like a really good sort, [a] proper person who despite all her status and her fame and her genius, she just seems really down to earth and giggly.”

Plus, Manville says Streep’s “always having a laugh,” adding, “Come on, if you can’t have a laugh it’s not worth living really.”

Lesley Manville
| Credit: Luis Sanchis

Her perfect evening with Streep would be having dinner with “just the two of us, nobody else.” That way, she explains, “We can just have a good, odd giggle, chew the fat. Find out about each others lives. I might pick up a few tips along the way as well.”

Manville, a celebrated actress in her own right, adds, “Actually, somebody said once they thought Meryl and I could play sisters. I don’t think that’s a bad idea so I’m just putting that out there now.”

For more on Manville, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

Not only would she pick Streep for her ultimate actor-fantasy dinner, Manville says she also think the Oscar winner is one of the most inspiring women in the world right now.

Asked whom she finds most inspirational, she jokes, “I suppose Meryl has got to be up there but I’m already having a dinner date for her so I’m probably giving her a bit too much press.”

Lesley Manville (L) and Meryl Streep
| Credit: Lars Niki/Getty; Samir Hussein/WireImage

Still, she says she picked Streep “because I suspect she doesn’t just tick the great actress box. I think she ticks the great woman box … obviously after this she’s going to be my bestie.”

The British actress has had a busy year, starring in two TV shows, Mum and Harlots, and promoting Phantom Thread, which has been nominated for six Oscars. Recounting her craziest experience during awards season so far, she opened up about the time she accidentally gave an audience full of people the personal phone number of her director, Paul Thomas Anderson.

Manville explained that Anderson tasked her with receiving an award for him at the New York Film Critics Circle. After accepting the award, the actress read a speech the director had prepared. “At the end of the speech, the thank you’s and all of that, he said, ‘If Tiffany Haddish is in the audience, can I just say that there will be a queue of people now wanting to work with you but, can I come to the front of the queue and will you text me and here’s my number.'”

At that point, Manville says, “I read out his number at the awards ceremony and the room went wild.” Fortunately, she says “nobody could really write it down quickly enough” and she ended up giving it to Haddish personally at the end of the show. “But it caused a kind of Twitter storm as it were,” Manville adds.

As for the Oscars, Manville says she already has her first post-show meal planned: “Hopefully [it will be] breakfast because I’m planning to stay up all night.”

The 2018 Oscars ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4 and will be televised live on ABC at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.