A shake-up in Chicago. Jesse Lee Soffer is set to exit Chicago P.D. during the upcoming 10th season.
The 38-year-old announced his departure in a statement to Variety on Monday, August 29: “I want to thank the incredible fans for their unwavering support during the past 10 years and want to express my deepest gratitude to Dick Wolf and everyone at Wolf Entertainment, Peter Jankowski, Matt Olmstead, Derek Haas, Michael Brandt, Rick Eid, Gwen Sigan, NBC, Universal Television, my fellow castmates and our incredible crew.”
He added: “To create this hour drama week after week has been a labor of love by everyone who touches the show. I will always be proud of my time as Det. Jay Halstead.”
Soffer subsequently shared the news via Twitter, writing, “This is sad but true. Just want all the fans to know how grateful I am. You guys are why we do it! It has been an honor. Love you all ❤️.”
The Emmy nominee has played Halstead on the Dick Wolf show since Chicago P.D.’s 2014 premiere, making his debut in the One Chicago universe on season 2 of Chicago Fire. The series also stars Jason Beghe, Lisseth Chavez, Patrick John Flueger, LaRoyce Hawkins, Amy Morton, Tracy Spiridakos and Marina Squerciati. News broke earlier this summer that season 9 guest star Benjamin Levy Aguilar had been upped to a series regular for season 10.
“Time to get tactical. LEGIT,” Aguilar wrote via Instagram on July 27 alongside the announcement. “Grateful for the journey. Stay curious, kid.”
Soffer, for his part, confirmed on August 1 that he was back on set of the show with Aguilar and Spiridakos, who plays his partner and love interest Hailey Upton.
“Season 10. Welcome Dante Torres 💥 💥 💥 @benjaminlevyaguilar,” the As the World Turns alum captioned an Instagram selfie with his costars.
Back in December 2021, Soffer opened up exclusively to Us Weekly about Halstead and Hailey getting married.
“That all felt like the next natural step. The two characters have been talking about getting married since, I think, the end of last season. Getting over all of these road bumps … It was like, ‘OK, we’re, we’re past all this, and we’re still here. F–k it, let’s do it!’” he told Us of Upstead. “They went to a courthouse and they put on a rubber ring. The characters were already together. It was an afterthought. It’s like, ‘Let’s just do it and be done with it.’ … Are marriages on a TV show easy? No. Is the marriage going to affect work and is work going to affect the marriage? Yes, probably.”
He added that Spiridakos is a “great scene partner,” making steamy sex scenes easy to film.
“We’ve been playing partners and love interests for so long, that it’s second nature,” Soffer said. “Also, I was on a soap for a while and she’s worked a ton! It’s like, ‘All right, sex scene? Got it.’ It’s been easy.”
Chicago P.D. returns to NBC Wednesday, September 21, at 10 p.m. ET.