updated 01/13/2007 AT 6:00 AM ET
•originally published 01/13/2007 AT 2:00 PM ET
Maggie Gyllenhaal isn’t exactly new to the movie biz, but she hasn’t lost any enthusiasm – especially when it comes to being nominated for a Golden Globe.
“I know there are people who are cynical about these awards things but I’m actually thrilled to go,” the actress, who is up for best actress in a drama for her role in Sherrybaby, tells the Associated Press. “I’m excited to pick a dress, I’m excited to get dressed up, get my hair done and go.”
After all, the Globes equal a night out on the town for the new mom, who gave birth in October to daughter Ramona, with fiancé Peter Sarsgaard.
“My mom’s gonna watch my daughter and I’m gonna go and I’m gonna do it right,” says Gyllenhaal, 29. (Her mom is Hollywood screenwriter Naomi Foner.)
She’s determined to make this Globes experience better than her last one four years ago when she was nominated for Secretary.
“I was really kind of a new, new, newbie at the time,” she said of her last Globes. “I don’t have a real strong memory of it ‘cause I was just kind of so thrilled. … It feels like such a different situation this time. It feels like I’m doing it for the first time.”
As for what’s next in her career, she recently costarred with Sarsgaard in a short called High Falls, which will debut at the Sundance Film Festival.
Working with her fiancé was “actually pretty horrible,” says the actress. “He was playing a big jerk and it was hard for me to be around him when all day long he was really being a big jerk.”
But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to work with him again. Next time, she has a Katharine Hepburn/Spencer Tracey kind of story in mind.
“I think it’d be cool to make, like, an old-school, ’40s-style movie with him where we’re both lawyers and we hate each other but really we love each other,” she says.
For the latest news from all the awards shows, see PEOPLE’s Red Carpet Confidential.