01/13/2007 AT 02:00 PM EST
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
"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
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
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.