The "Thor: Ragnarok" star, who reprises her role as singer/songwriter Bianca Porter in the "Rocky" franchise spin-off, loves to put together music playlists to listen to in between scenes on set, and she made sure to only select her top tunes whenever Phylicia was present.
"Anytime she was in the hair and make-up trailer, I was always DJ-ing, but when she was there I was very conscientious of my playlist because I was trying to impress her which I happened to do a couple of times," Tessa smiled on breakfast show "Good Morning America".
"I played Beyonce Knowles's "Love On Top", and she was like, 'That's my favourite Beyonce song,' and I was like, 'Thank God!'."
Tessa explains she was always a little nervous around "The Cosby Show" veteran, who plays the stepmother of Michael B. Jordan's lead character Adonis Creed, because the 70 year old is one of her acting icons.
"I'm such a huge fan of Phylicia," she shared. "I literally wouldn't be here if she hadn't paved the way for me and for so many women like me."
Meanwhile, Tessa also enjoyed putting her vocal talents to the test as Bianca, recording two songs for the film's official soundtrack, which was produced by hip-hop hitmaker Mike WiLL Made It, but the actress doubts she will ever launch a music career herself.
"I don't know if I'll ever do a release (as a proper artist), but it's so fun to get to make music for Bianca," she said.
"Creed II", which also features original "Rocky" star Sylvester Stallone, opens in theatres next week (November 21).