Patrick J. Adams
Frank Ockenfels/USA Network
12/14/2011 at 04:00 PM EST
What an initiation into the red carpet club.
Patrick J. Adams, star of USA's drama Suits
, woke up Wednesday morning to the surprise news that he was a Screen Actors Guild Award nominee
for outstanding performance by a male actor in a drama series. It was his first-ever nomination – for anything!
"This is my first year for a lot of this stuff," Adams tells the Los Angeles Times's Show Tracker blog
. "This is all brand new to me. ... I never, ever imagined it would get to this point."
Nor did Adams, 30, even know awards season was heating up.
"To be honest, I didn't even know this was happening today," he tells the Times
, adding that he slept through the announcement and awoke to find many missed calls on his cell phone. "I thought something terrible had happened and picked up and found out quite the opposite."
"I'm just trying to wrap my head around it," he says.
The actor, who has never attended a red carpet awards show before, says he's rendered "speechless" by his fellow nominees
, who include Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire
), Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights
), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad
) and Michael C. Hall (Dexter
"I've watched how they work, week to week, and how they conduct themselves in their lives," he says. "These are just incredible men. ... It's such an insane honor to walk among them."