Tom Payne, the actor best known for portraying Jesus on The Walking Dead, announced his engagement on Sunday night after the show's mid-season finale.
Warning! Spoilers for The Walking Dead lie ahead!
The Walking Dead claimed even more fan-favorite characters' lives this week as it prepared for its winter hiatus. Payne's character, the enigmatic Jesus, was among them. However, as he joined Talking Dead after the show, he did not seem too distraught, perhaps due to the big news in his personal life.
Payne spoke to host Chris Hardwick about his mixed feelings about his on-screen death. He talked about getting a call from showrunner Angela Kang, informing him of Jesus' death, and in the process, he dropped a bombshell about his love life.
“I got the call like, an episode before and I was texting my girlfriend, now fiancée,” he said.
Hardwick cut in to acknowledge the news. "Congratulations!" Hardwick said.
Payne's new betrothed is Swedish singer and model Jennifer Akerman. The two have been together since 2013, and recently decided to make a big commitment, according to Payne.
Akerman joined Payne in celebrating the U.S.'s Thanksgiving this weekend, apparently marking the occasion with a hike. Akerman posted a black and white selfie from on top of Wisdom Tree in the Hollywood Hills, along with a heartfelt message about his wife-to-be.
“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 wrote. "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!”
Akerman, 29, has a few on-screen credits to her name, mostly in Sweden. Her sister, Malin Akerman, is well known in the U.S., particularly for her role as Laurie Jupiter, The Silk Spectre in Watchmen.
Earlier this year, Payne raved about his love for Akerman while speaking to reporters from Women's Health. The 35-year-old said that he knew from the start that their relationship was different than any he had had before.0comments
“She was the first person who wasn’t afraid to challenge me and call me on my s—,” he admitted. “A few weeks in, we had an argument on the street, and I said to her, ‘I don’t do this!’ I was in a relationship for 10 years before this one, and we never argued, mainly because I always had the power. But with this relationship, it’s a fifty-fifty split. We’re totally invested.”
Payne and Akerman have not announced any further details about their wedding plans.