updated 01/30/2012 AT 7:00 AM ET
•originally published 01/30/2012 AT 8:10 AM ET
George Clooney isn’t shy about expressing his feelings. Just ask Mary Tyler Moore.
Asked at Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, where she won the Life Achievement Award, whether she’d be mingling with any A-listers in particular – say, Mr. Clooney himself? – Moore recalled her thrilling first encounter with the best actor nominee.
“I met George Clooney in a very small elevator, and he came over and he put his arms around me,” the actress, 75, told PEOPLE. “I think he said something like, ‘I love you.’ It was maybe two years ago. I am going to seek him out tonight.”
Moore said she wasn’t too anxious about Sunday’s show, partly because she knew she wouldn’t have to fake being happy for some other winner.
“It’s so hard to sit there with a smile on your face waiting for your name to be called,” she said. “When it’s not, you keep the smile on your face, and it’s just the dumbest thing. But tonight it was good because I knew I was going to win, so I wasn’t that nervous.”
She admitted that she was probably going to have a sleepless night after the win. But that’s not unusual, she added.
“I just go home and hug my dogs,” she said. “We have four of them, and they all sleep in the bed with us, or at least they try to. They are always pushing us aside and right off the bed. I don’t need to have any way to get to sleep after a night like this.”