Actor Tom Payne (warning: major spoiler alert) said goodbye to The Walking Dead on last Sunday night's episode after the unexpected death of his fittingly pacifistic character, Jesus. Off-screen, however, the star seems to be faring much better, sans zombie apocalypse, especially given his recent engagement reveal to Swedish singer Jennifer Akerman.
While appearing on the Talking Dead, the franchise's aptly titled live after-show, following the recent midseason finale, Payne dished on the moment he discovered Jesus's future split from the script—and simultaneously let his newfound relationship status slip. According to the 35-year-old actor, one of the screenwriting masterminds behind the zombie horror TV show, Angela Kang, actually broke the news...and prettyyyy suddenly.
"I got the call like, an episode before and I was texting my girlfriend, now fiancée," Payne told talk show host Chris Hardwick, who offered his congratulations, per E! News.
Payne unfortunately left it at that, not giving any insight into the proposal, but he seemingly has no hard feelings regarding his character's TV demise (let's not forget he now has a wedding to plan, after all).
"When they came to me with the idea, I said, 'As long as it's a really cool moment, let's do it!' " he told the Hollywood Reporter. "I know a lot of people are going to be bummed about it, but I've been bummed for the last two years, that the character hasn't gotten as much cool stuff [on the show] as he has in the comic books. They gave me a really cool ending, and I'm happy with that."
The British-born, bearded star also seems just as happy with his fiancée, taking to Instagram to gush about Akerman (sister of actress Malin Akerman) on Thanksgiving.
"Thankful today for the path my life has taken up till now and all the people that have helped and supported me along the way," he captioned the post. "Especially the special lady peeking out from behind me in the photo! America has given me a lot. I’m doing my best to return the love. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!"
While Payne correctly predicted The Walking Dead viewers would have qualms with the incredibly abrupt exit of yet another key character (exhibit A: his adorable Instagram shoutout was riddled with dissatisfied fan commentary), there is one silver lining—the potential for a cast reunion, Andrew Lincoln and all, once the wedding rolls around. Congrats to the betrothed pair!