03/02/2009 at 01:00 AM EST
>• She won raves as a careworn mother in Doubt, but the Best Supporting Actress nominee, 43, is ready to show off her stylish side on the red carpet.
YOU OFTEN LOOK SO MUCH OLDER ONSCREEN! I'm used to people walking up to me and saying, "You look so much better! I never thought you were even attractive." At first it would take me aback, but now I take it all in stride. Ultimately it's a compliment that I transform in my roles.
HOW WAS GOING TOE TO TOE WITH MERYL STREEP? I was terrified. My heart was palpitating. I didn't want to look like the weak link. Meryl couldn't have been any more fantastic. I think she's aware of how nervous people get around her.
HOW WILL YOU PICK YOUR OSCAR DRESS? Everyone thinks I'm about 70 years old and 300 lbs., so I'd like to wear something that makes me feel a little cute!