Donna Ward/PR Photos
Lynette Rice
July 14, 2011 AT 01:55 PM EDT

Not surprisingly, Chris Colfer earned another nomination for his portrayal of Kurt on Glee, but it actually came as big news to the young actor. “I was very, very nervous,” said Colfer, who was deep asleep today when the call about his nod got him out of bed. He’ll compete for the statue against  Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O’Neill, and Eric Stonestreet of Modern Family, and Jon Cryer of Two and a Half Men.

“There were rumors that I might get nominated again, but I was thinking I wouldn’t,” Colfer told EW. “It was a surprise. I think there is so much anxiety that comes with awards show and nominations and I was focusing on all the bad. The category is so so tough, so selective, that I didn’t think I get another nomination.”

It looks like his window for Glee Emmy attention is closing fast: It was revealed that Colfer, along with co-stars Lea Michele and Cory Monteith, will depart the hit Fox dramedy at the end of the third season. The cast change was not a total shock, as creator Ryan Murphy indicated last month that he planned to let those who would be seniors at McKinley High this fall graduate in May.

“It was bound to happen sooner or later,” Colfer said. Ironically, the actor didn’t even know what grade his character was in when he first joined the Fox drama. “I  always assumed that Kurt was very young in the original scripts. I knew he was 16, but I didn’t know what grade. Then when it was announced I was leaving, I was like, ‘I guess it’s our senior year next year!'”

Colfer knows his departure it’s a letdown for fans — which is why he’s hoping to reappear at McKinley from time to time. (He confirmed that he’s not signed as a series regular beyond the 2011-12 season). ” I would love to pull a Farrah Fawcett from Charlie’s Angels and come back every 10th episode,” he said.  “I’d be the obnoxious recurring star!”

Read more:

Emmy nominations 2011

Emmy snubs: Who was painfully overlooked?

Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, and Cory Monteith to depart ‘Glee’ after season 3

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