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SAG Awards: Patrick J. Adams awoke to 'Suits' surprise

December 14, 2011 | 10:12 am

Patrick J Adams of Suits SAG nominee
Patrick J. Adams’ dream came true this morning — quite literally. He was fast asleep in Los Angeles, in the wee hours of the morning, when he got sucked into a hazy vortex of cellphone vibrations. He awoke to six missed calls. One of them was from his manager, delivering the out-of-the-blue news: He’d scored a SAG nomination for best actor in a drama series for his role on USA Network’s “Suits.”

 “To be honest, I didn’t even know this was happening today,” said the award newbie.  “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.”

Adams is admittedly overwhelmed by the sudden storm of attention. Not only is the Screen Actors Guild nod his first award nomination, he’s also never attended a red-carpet award ceremony, of any kind.  “This is my first year for a lot of this stuff. This is all brand new to me. It’s been such a whirlwind of a year. I never, ever imagined it would get to this point. You don’t expect anything — it’s been all about learning, this year.”

Along those lines, he’s less intimidated and more inspired by the heavy-hitting contenders in his category, which include Steve Buscemi, Kyle Chandler, Bryan Cranston and Michael C. Hall. Over the years, he’s watched their careers closely and looked at all four actors as role models. “They’re all teachers, in a sense. I’ve watched how they work, week to week, and how they conduct themselves in their lives. These are just incredible men. So to be amongst them in this way— I haven’t processed it yet. It’s such an insane honor to walk among them. I’m speechless.”

"Suits" may not be quite as well known as "Dexter," "Boardwalk Empire," "Breaking Bad" and "Friday Night Lights," but Adams is hopeful that his nomination will boost the show's profile and draw new audiences. “The other [nominated actors’] shows are critically acclaimed shows that have changed the landscape of television. If we could get some of those people who follow shows that dare to be different, it just encourages our show to take more risks and to be brave and to continue to evolve in a way people don’t necessarily expect.”

Adams just wrapped up a play, “Nine Circles,” in Los Angeles and will soon show up as a recurring character on HBO’s “Luck,” which premieres in January.  But he’d really like to begin exploring bigger film roles.

“I’ve done a lot of smaller indie films, but I’ve never been in a studio film environment. That’s another brave new world!”


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— Deborah Vankin

Photo: Patrick J. Adams in "Suits." Credit: David Giesbrecht/USA.