SAG Awards: 'Suits' Star Patrick Adams Reacts to Shocking Nomination, Talks 'Friday Night Lights' Experience

The actor recalled participating in a recent Q&A for the guild, saying that the early morning surprise could have been a result of the session and USA Network's awards push.
hristos Kalohoridis/USA Network

It's fair to say attorney-in-training Mike Ross didn't see this coming.

Surprises and snubs are expected when it comes to awards nominations, but one topped them all on when the Screen Actors Guild Awards shortlists were revealed: Patrick J. Adams, star of USA Network's Suits, vying for a lead actor honor in a TV drama series against heavyweights like Bryan Cranston and Steve Buscemi.

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"I went to bed last night thinking today was going to be another day, get up and walk my dog and that would be that. To wake up this morning to the phone ringing off the hook, I thought what anybody would think, that something terrible had happened, the world was falling apart," Adams told The Hollywood Reporter following his nomination. "Then I got the news and was just gobsmacked, breathless, speechless."

The actor, who plays an up-and-coming attorney Mike Ross with no law degree, wasn't the only alone in his shock. Viewers immediately took to Twitter, with one writing, "Oh man. I *love* Suits, but Patrick Adams for a SAG award is ridiculous. What is this, the Golden Globes? LOL." Another was happy for Adams' sudden rise to recognition by his peers: "Congrats to Patrick Adams for the SAG nom for 'Suits.' He's been killing it."

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Adams recalled taking part in a SAG Q&A session several weeks ago, during which they screened the mock trial episode, calling it one of his favorite episodes of Suits so far -- and acknowledged that that could have been a factor. ("You wake up one morning and you find out that in fact they were paying attention and that everybody wants you to know it," he says, joking that it may just be his "favorite episode of television ever made.")

"There were conversations about this stuff heading into [awards season]," Adams said of USA's awards push for Suits, already renewed for a second season. "It's a first-year show and we were successful, but these are heavy categories. You never think about this stuff, at least I don't."

When Jan. 29, 2012 rolls around, Adams will be pit against Cranston (Breaking Bad), Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Michael C. Hall (Dexter) and Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights). "I am more than the new kid on the block," Adams said with a laugh. "I feel grateful that that work is recognized by my peers but I still can’t believe that it’s recognized to this extent."

Adams discussed his experience filming NBC/DirecTV's Friday Night Lights; he appeared in the 2006 episode "Git'er Done." "I've done an episode of Friday Night Lights and that gave me the chance to not just watch how they work on-screen but actually spend a couple of days right at the beginning of [the show]," he said, seeing "how Kyle Chandler works and seeing what a guy he is, not just as an actor, and how important it is to be giving to everyone who comes to work on your show and so enthusiastic about them."

As far as how he'll celebrate? Dec. 14 happens to be Adams' anniversary with his girlfriend, Pretty Little Liars actress Troian Bellisario: "We're going to go take the dog for a hike hopefully and eat some good food and watch a movie."