Talk about art imitating life. Just hours before Minnie Driver underwent an appendectomy in a London hospital late last month, the English actress watched the procedure performed on CBS's medical drama Chicago Hope.

"They had a whole scene about an appendectomy, which I had no idea I was about to experience," she tells TV Guide Online. "Later, I was making a cup of tea and suddenly I felt this stabbing pain. My whole stomach was hurting but I just kept telling myself it was indigestion or something. I went to bed with a hot water bottle."

After suffering for a few hours, the Oscar-nominated actress — who was in London filming High Heels and Lowlifes — took some action. "I called my mum at four in the morning," she recalls. "I know some people might have called 911 but I said to myself, 'Mum will know what to do.' Well, mum instructed her to proceed directly to the nearest hospital. And like a good daughter, Driver followed orders.

Once there, Driver insists that she "didn't get the star treatment. They wheeled me into the operating room and some guy said, 'Here suck on this and count to three.' That's the last I remember."

Driver — whose latest film, Beautiful, opens Sept. 29 — says it wasn't unusual that she turned to her mum in her time of need. "Maybe I'm regressing to my childhood," she says, "but I find myself ringing her up more and more these days. She always had good advice, with one exception: The only thing I don't ask her about is men."