Patrick J. Adams Patrick J. Adams

When nominations for the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were revealed this morning, nobody was more surprised than the surprise drama actor nominee himself, Suits star Patrick J. Adams. "I feel so embarrassed to even admit it, but I had no idea that this was being announced today," Adams admitted to TV Guide Magazine hours after getting the news. "This was my first year of pretty much everything professionally, so something pretty wonderful has happened."

Viewers may recognize the 30-year-old Adams from small roles on Lost and Pretty Little Liars, but this summer he broke out as leading man Mike Ross in the popular USA Network legal drama. "This was really my first big gig, I even got fired from a show a little under a year before Suits," reveals Adams, who is ready to go up against awards show veterans like Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) and Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire) in the category. "These are people who are teachers — they are masters at what they do — so I really get to consider myself a student of their work," says Adams. "To be nominated or in the same sentence as these people is such an honor."

As for his Suits costars, Adams says all of them called immediately to share their congratulations. "Gabriel [Macht] was the first one to reach out, with Rick Hoffman being the funniest," laughs Adams. "It was just a litany of curse words mixed with screams of joy — typical Rick Hoffman response to something he's very happy about." And as Suits prepares to shoot its second season, Adams recognizes the importance of today's nomination to the people on and off screen. "It gives us a little something to hang our hat on and encourage us to go further, dig deeper and keep taking risks as a show," he says. "It's a huge responsibility, and I think we're up for the challenge."

The 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards air live on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 8/7c on TBS and TNT.

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