Julian Fellowes On Dan Stevens' 'Downton Abbey' Exit: 'He Would Not Stay'

04/19/2013 11:15 am ET

"Downton Abbey" fans aren't alone in their outrage over Matthew Crawley's (Dan Stevens) untimely death at the end of Season 3: Series creator Julian Fellowes wasn't thrilled either.

“I had no choice,” Fellowes said, according to the UK Express. “Dan would not stay -- he was determined to go. Everyone liked him and thought he was fantastic."

“I tried to persuade him to come back just for one episode of the next series so we could give Matthew and Mary a happy ending but he wanted to go off to America," he continued. "And now I believe he has a three-movie deal. He’s doing very well!”

In addition to his upcoming films, which include "Summer In February" and "A Walk Among Tombstones," Stevens recently appeared alongside Jessica Chastain in "The Heiress" on Broadway.

"It's nice that people care, I suppose, about the show, but yeah, you know ... I had to do what I had to do," Stevens said in March of his "Downton Abbey" departure. "It's a show that means a lot to a lot of people, and, you know, we've obviously gone into a lot of homes on a Sunday night, so people feel very close to the show, which is great," he added.

Season 4 of "Downton Abbey" will air in early 2014.

"Downton Abbey"

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