The actor reflects on the toughest decision of his career and talks about his directorial debut
In a recent interview, Jesse Lee Soffer, known for his role as Detective Jay Halstead in “Chicago P.D.”, revealed that walking away from the long-running NBC drama was one of the hardest decisions he has ever made in his professional life. After ten seasons on the show, Soffer spoke with Variety in February, shedding light on the factors that led to his departure.
“I’ve thought so hard about how to answer this question — and there’s no good answer… Except I was ready for more,” Soffer admitted. “Eventually, you know the character so well, there’s not much that can shift or transform. I really wanted to grow and expand, and we’ve only got this one trip,” he further explained. “If I signed up again, it would have been for another three years. I would have turned 40 on the show. I thought, ‘You know what? It’s time to take a risk.'”
The decision to leave a show that he had been a part of for a decade was not an easy one for Soffer. He admitted that he felt just as heartbroken as the devoted fans of “Chicago P.D.” who had grown to love his character. “I love the fans of our show so much, and I love my fans,” Soffer expressed. “I know that they’re still grieving this, and to some degree, I am too.”
Although he left the show, Soffer couldn’t stay away for too long. In 2022, he made a comeback for Season 10 as the director of Episode 16, titled “Deadlocked.” The episode, which aired in March 2023, showcased Soffer’s directorial debut. Talking to TV Insider about his experience coming back to the show, Soffer revealed that it felt like he never left. “It was great. It was a really kind of seamless transition,” he said. He also mentioned how he enjoyed reuniting with his co-stars, emphasizing the camaraderie they share both on and off-screen.
As Soffer moves forward in his career, fans are eager to know what lies ahead for the talented actor. While he may have bid farewell to Detective Jay Halstead, Soffer assured fans that he is excited about new opportunities and challenges. With a strong desire for growth and expansion, Soffer is determined to take on new roles that push the boundaries of his acting abilities.
In terms of future projects, Soffer remains tight-lipped but expresses his enthusiasm for taking calculated risks. As a dedicated actor, he is ready to explore uncharted territories and immerse himself in diverse roles that will showcase his versatility.
Fans of Jesse Lee Soffer can rest assured that although his departure from “Chicago P.D.” marked the end of an era, it also signaled the beginning of an exciting new chapter in his career. With his talent, dedication, and willingness to take risks, Soffer is poised to make waves in the entertainment industry.
As the dust settles on his departure, Soffer’s fans continue to rally behind him, eager to witness his growth and success in the years to come. Though he may no longer be solving crimes as Detective Halstead, his fans remain loyal and committed to supporting him as he ventures into new territory.
Jesse Lee Soffer’s decision to leave “Chicago P.D.” was not an easy one, but it was driven by his desire for growth and exploration. The actor’s departure marked the end of an era for both him and his fans. However, with his recent directorial debut and his enthusiasm for new opportunities, Soffer is poised to take on exciting challenges and captivate audiences in the future. Fans can rest assured that this is just the beginning of an exciting new chapter in his career.