09/20/2012 09:34 am ET

Christine Baranski's Emmy Competition: Maggie Smith

Christine Baranski is up for third Emmy for "The Good Wife," her tenth nomination overall. But this time, she's competing with "Downton Abbey's" Dame Maggie Smith.

"What completely blew my mind this year was that I, an actress out of Buffalo, would be in the same category as Maggie Smith, who to me is just incomparable," Baranski told The New York Times. "I remember seeing Maggie Smith in a movie theater playing 'Desdemona,' and she’s been my idol all these years. To be in a category with her is astounding."

On "The Good Wife," Baranski plays Diane Lockhart, a partner at her own law firm, Lockhart/Gardner, and a mentor of sorts to Julianna Margulies' character, Alicia Florrick. The Emmy nominations for "The Good Wife" have been her first for dramatic acting.

"These nominations have meant a lot to me because they’re for work done as a dramatic actress, and I have not done a lot of dramatic work," she told TVLine. "So to be recognized for excellence in that medium is very, very special to me at this stage in my career."

Baranski has been previously nominated for her work on "Cybill," "The Big Bang Theory" and "Frasier."

The first time she was nominated for "The Good Wife," her co-star Archie Panjabi took home the award. The 2011 Emmy went to "Justified's" Margo Martindale. This year's competition includes Smith, Panjabi, "Breaking Bad" actress Anna Gunn, Christina Hendricks for "Mad Men" and "Downton Abbey's" Joanne Froggatt.

What would Baranski do if she came face-to-face with the Dowager Countess? "I would be tongue-tied," she said.

For more on Baranski, click over to The New York Times.

Emmy Nominees 2012