Credit: Everett Collection

Fans were in an uproar after Helen Fielding released an excerpt from her third installment to the Bridget Jones series and revealed that in it, Mark Darcy — spoiler alert! — dies, leaving Bridget a widow.

But what about the man who plays him on screen?

Colin Firth, who played Darcy in both Bridget Jones films, learned of his character’s death personally from the author. In an interview with Time magazine, Fielding talks how she gently broke the news over the phone after Firth couldn’t meet for lunch.

“I had to ask him if he had someone with him and if he was sitting down,” she says. “It was like someone actually had died. We had to process it. And I was almost saying, ‘I’m so sorry for your loss.'”

She also says in the interview that she explained to Firth that Darcy’s presence can be felt throughout the book because of his children with Bridget, a girl named Mabel and a boy named Billy, who closely resembles his father. “As I told [Colin], his memory will live on and he will rise from the dead rather like Jesus,” she said.

Firth hasn’t publicly commented on his character’s demise, but in the meantime, fans of the actor can simply revisit his other Darcy, who thankfully has a happy ending.

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy will be released in the U.S. on Oct. 15.

Bridget Jones's Diary
  • Movie
  • 92 minutes