BEVERLY HILLS - Patricia Arquette has one word for what it feels like to beat out Meryl Streep for an award: "Surreal."

Okay, she actually had a few words.

"I don’t even know if I am awake yet," said the "Boyhood" actress backstage after winning the Golden Globe for Best Lead Actress in a Drama. "This is an amazing dream that I am having that continues on. It is amazing. [Meryl's] work in 'Ironweed' may be some of the best work I have ever seen on earth so it is a great honor."

As for the movie she won for - Richard Linklater's 12-years-in-the-making family drama and Best Motion Picture Drama winner - Arquette admitted that she didn't want the experience to end.

"The last year I was so sad we were finishing that I said to Richard, you know, 'I’m the mom, and the mom doesn’t agree that it’s 12 years,'" she told us. "[I said] 'It’s actually a 20-year movie' and then I tried to push it even further like, 'You can finish this movie when I’m an old dead woman. That’s when you can finish making this movie.' He said 'No, baby, we are making a movie.' We have all tried to get him to continue, but this is what we got."

What she got, of course, was a Golden Globe award - her first ever, and only her second major award win after the Emmy she received for "Medium" in 2007. Here's how she described the experience of hearing her name called on Sunday night:

"I mean, I do feel like I am having some sort of panic sweat possibly. I felt pretty calm all day and okay. I felt like I should prepare a speech just to be responsible because I was in a category with Meryl Streep so God knows good luck to you, but I still felt like I needed to be responsible, but when they started reading it I got scared, and then I got scared when I had to go up. I also feel like somebody shot me full of adrenaline. It is an amazing feeling."

Now 46, Arquette ended by stating that she feels she's entered a new phase of her career:

"I feel like I grow at every job," she said. "I don’t think I am the greatest at each job, I feel like hopefully do you the best you can. Some material is more difficult than other material, but I do feel like this is my life right now. I want to work with other actors and work with directors and grow and learn. I feel like at this age you come to a position where you kind of know yourself and you want to explore territory in a deep, rugged raw way maybe. So I am excited about this part of my life."


A former contributor to sites including MTV's The Backlot and Bloody-Disgusting, Chris Eggertsen worked in film development before indulging his love of pop culture writing full time. He specializes in horror, the intersection of social issues and entertainment and Howard Stern. He's on Twitter @HitFixChris.