Jared Leto ‘Blown Away’ By 30 Seconds To Mars’ VMA Noms

'We're so proud that a video that was an epic experience for us was recognized,' Leto tells MTV News.

Jared Leto was probably the last person to learn about 30 Seconds to Mars’ Video Music Award nominations . After all, it was already Wednesday morning in New Zealand (16 hours ahead of us here in the U.S.) when he got the news.

“I was in Auckland, and I woke up after a long slumber, looked over to my BlackBerry, and noticed that the red light seemed to be flashing with an added urgency,” Leto laughed. “So I reached over and quickly found out that this was a day that would go down in history for this little band of ours.”

And rightfully so. After all, 30STM racked up four VMA nominations — more than any other rock act — with their “Kings and Queens” clip, including nods for Best Rock Video and Video of the Year. And immediately after learning the news, Leto reacted somewhat appropriately.

“I was completely blown away. It was so unexpected that my first reaction was, ‘Holy f—ing sh– f— f— f—!’ ” he said. “We had no idea this was the way these things worked. It was the furthest thing from our minds. And then someone sent me the list of artists we’re nominated with, and we couldn’t believe that either. It really is exciting.”

Leto wouldn’t speculate on his band’s chances of taking home a Moonman — “It truly is an honor just to be nominated,” he said — but in a lot of ways, he feels like he and his bandmates have already won. After all, the success of “Kings and Queens” not only came after a lengthy battle to get their album made , but it was born out of a collaboration with the band’s fans and friends. So the VMA noms are vindication, and they give Leto an opportunity to once again thank everyone who’s helped them along the way.

“We’re so proud that a video that was an epic experience for us was recognized, because making it was a creative and beautiful journey that we still talk about fondly,” he said. “It’s a celebration, because it gives me a chance to say thanks to everyone who means so much to us, largely our fans, but everyone else who has supported us. It hasn’t always been this way for us. We’ve had to work so unbelievably hard, and we couldn’t have done it without some help.”

Will you be rooting for 30 Seconds to Mars at the VMAs? Let us know in the comments!

The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, September 12, at 9 p.m. ET.