Hint: The Orange Is the New Black actress wasn't exactly waiting around by the phone

By Amanda Michelle Steiner
Updated December 10, 2014 08:50 PM
Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty

When it was announced that Uzo Aduba, 33, the actress who plays Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on the hit show Orange is the New Black, was nominated for a SAG award on Wednesday, Aduba was otherwise occupied.

“I was in SoulCycle!” she tells PEOPLE, laughing. “I’m in Boston, I came up to visit my family and my cousin and I went to SoulCycle! We were going to do a double.”

When the first class was done, Aduba says she checked her phone to call her mom, and saw that it was blowing up.

“I was like, ‘What is happening?’ I have all these text messages and voicemails at 9:30 in the morning!” she says. One of the text messages from a friend just said, “Congratulations!” and Aduba says she wrote back “Thank you?” with a question mark. That’s when she realized she’d been nominated for outstanding performance by a female actress in a comedy series.

Once the news sunk in, she says the first person she called was her mom.

“My mom and my sisters!” she says. “They were like, ‘Oh my goodness, I cannot even believe this.’ They’re just so proud,” she says. Aduba says she is equally proud of the rest of the cast, who were also nominated for best comedy ensemble.

“I really just feel so proud and happy for our ensemble,” she says. “When I was told that the ensemble was recognized as well … I jumped up in the air, I was so excited!”

Aduba, who also won an Emmy earlier in the year for outstanding guest actress in a comedy series for her role in OITNB, said that a SAG award holds a lot of significance because it comes from her peers and colleagues.

“I love to act. I love to tell stories, and to be recognized by your peers, your fellow actors and people you respect … I really don’t know what to say,” she says. “Other than just, thank you. I’m very grateful. Thank you very much.”

And how about if Aduba is also nominated for a Golden Globe, which are being announced Thursday?

“I’m going to be in another SoulCycle [class] probably!” she says.

The 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will air on both TNT and TBS on Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. ET.