When Sandra Bullock and Viola Davis first met a decade ago, while filming the 2011 drama Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, the two stars forged an immediate friendship and some unique future plans involving their children.
At the time Davis, 56, had just seen Bullock's happy news about welcoming her son Louis and couldn't wait to talk to her about "the cutest baby in the world."
"I had seen all those pictures of your baby [Louis]," Davis tells PEOPLE. "And I was telling my husband [actor Julius Tennon], 'This has got to be the cutest baby in the world.' And so I went up to you to say that to you, that was our first meeting."
"I remember," says Bullock, 57. "At some point, we made an arranged marriage agreement for Louis and [Davis's daughter] Genesis. I was like, 'Good for me. I like the parents.' Because it's usually the parents you have an issue with. And with Viola and Julius, I'll be like, 'Have the parents stay. I like you in my space.' "
The two Oscar winners, who are costars again in the new drama The Unforgivable, have kept up with their long-running joke/plan, sometimes mentioning it in front of their perplexed children, both 11. Bullock says she remembers one such instance at the Oscars years ago when she ran into Davis and Genesis after not having seen them in a while.
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"You guys walked past me and I went, 'Oh my God, is this my son's wife? Because we scored, we scored!' " Bullock recalls with a laugh. "Poor Genesis doesn't get the joke and her eyes and her face, she was like, 'Wait a minute. What's happening? What is this promise?' "
Although the actresses admit they haven't been able to spend enough time together over the years, they are always grateful for any opportunity to do so, especially when it involves working together.
"I love Sandra's authenticity," says Davis. "She knows that the responsibility of being a leader is to protect, to nurture, to set a tone of respect. It wasn't just refreshing, it's almost jolting in the business. It's very rare."
Says Bullock of Davis: "It's not her job to inspire us, but she does. And it's powerful. As a woman and as a mom I look at someone like that and just go, 'F—, I need to step up my game.' I think, 'What would Viola Davis do?' There need to be t-shirts."
Until their next collaboration, we can also look forward to the arranged marriage the stars are "planning."
"Please let Genesis know that Louis is going to be very tall," says Bullock to Davis. "I don't know if that matters to her, but boy, he's growing. And he's interested in being a chef and having his own restaurant. I don't know how she feels about that."
"Well, you have to know Genesis does not come with a dowry," quips Davis. "So it's just her and her poodle."
"Same for Louis," says Bullock. "They'll come with their dogs."
The Unforgivable is now in theaters and available to stream on Netflix Dec. 10.