Christina Hendricks

Amanda Edwards/WireImage

She's may play the steely, self-possessed and sultry Joan Harris on Mad Men, but in real life Christina Hendricks isn't immune to a little anxiety attack every now and then.

Case in point: Her upcoming starring role in Ryan Gosling's directorial debut, How to Catch a Monster.

The 37-year-old bombshell is ramping up for arguably her biggest movie role to date, following minor, if notable, turns in the crime-noir thriller Drive (opposite Gosling himself) and the Sarah Jessica Parker rom-com I Don't Know How She Does It.

In the latest issue of Flare magazine, Hendricks shared her feelings about working on Gosling's rookie effort—a mixture of excitement and anxiety that she says can often keep her awake at night.

"Talk about feeling intimidated," the actress says when recalling how Gosling first contacted her about starring in the film, which has been described as a fantastical tale of a single of mother caught up in a dark, surreal underworld with her young son.

"[Ryan] called me and asked me if I was interested in doing this film, and I said: 'One, of course, yes, and two, why me? And three, I don't want to disappoint you,'" she explains. "It's the largest role I've ever had, so this is one I'm definitely aware of my anxiety about."

That anxiety, however, seems to have been quelled by Gosling's decision to include his leading lady in the creative process.

"He's been fantastic, involving me artistically and letting me be along the road of casting and costume design," Hendricks notes. "I've seen storyboards and imagery, and I've heard music."

Still, the pressures of living up to expectations have kept Hendricks on her toes.

"You don't want to disappoint the people who have put their trust in you," she says. "I take it very seriously. I keep myself up at night with worry and excitement and being unsure."

With an acclaimed, Emmy-nominated actress like Hendricks at the pic's helm, we've got a feeling that her director will be anything but disappointed.

How to Catch a Monster is reportedly expected to begin shooting this spring.

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