Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Monday’s episode of Jane the Virgin. Read at your own risk!
Jane the Virgin star Brett Dier apparently knows how to keep a secret.
The actor, who starred as Michael Cordero on the first two and a half seasons of the CW dramedy, admits that he’s known for nine months that his cop-with-a-heart-of-gold character was going to die on the episode that aired Monday.
“It was a long time to keep it to myself,” Dier, 26, tells PEOPLE. “The rest of the cast knew but I had to tell the crew. That was tough.”
But keeping the secret was nothing compared to his final days of filming.
“There were a lot of tears and goodbyes. It was hard to leave that big group of people because I love them all so much,” Dier says of filming his final scenes three months ago. “It was shocking and sad and on the drive home I was just silent the whole time. I love Michael. I loved playing him.”
“He ended up being a friend of mine in my head. I’d never had that experience before,” he adds. “He became a part of me. And knowing that part of me was going to be killed was really sad.”
As one of his final acts as Michael, Dier says he helped Jane star Gina Rodriguez get into character to film the scene where Jane finds out that her husband is dead.
“Gina asked me to do something so she could watch or read something when she filmed the scene. So I went out and shot that video in the parking lot so she could watch it beforehand. She said it really helped her get into the scene, which I’m glad it did,” Dier says of the video message, which Rodriguez posted on Instagram Monday night.
Dier misses spending his weeks on set, but he feels Michael was at his best in his final episodes.
“Almost getting killed at the end of last season opened up Michael to enjoy life and be more loving and be himself and take risks because life can be taken away that quickly,” he says. “I think it really shined a light on Michael where you really got to know who he really was and what he wanted out of life.”
And Dier hopes they haven’t seen the last of his character.
“Maybe Michael faked his death!” the actor jokes. “No. No. He’s really dead. But I think there will be fantasies in Jane’s head when she’s reminded him. I think Michael will still be a presence on the show, but not anything more than that.”
Jane the Virgin airs Mondays (9 p.m. ET) on The CW.