Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Can Jesse Lee Soffer Offer ‘Chicago P.D.’ Upstead Fans Hope?

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Jesse Lee Soffer may have returned to Chicago P.D. as a director with the latest episode, “Deadlocked,” but what about seeing him back onscreen as Detective Jay Halstead?

“You never say never. Who knows?” Soffer tells TV Insider. “P.D. could go forever. So you could see me come back and be Voight’s [Jason Beghe] age, could be 50 years old, and take over for Voight in like 20 years or something.”

It was in the third episode of the current 10th season, “A Good Man,” that Halstead left his wife and partner, Detective Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos), Intelligence, and Chicago behind to run a squad tracking down the worst cartels in Bolivia. And then in Episode 12, “I Can Let You Go,” Hailey learned that Halstead was staying overseas longer and he had requested it.

“It’s weird, now I’m just a viewer and it’s really tricky,” Soffer says of his character’s exit and how they’ve explained his absence since. “It’s tricky, I think, to be in a scenario where this character is so beloved and has all these relationships and then they leave and you have to somehow pick up the pieces for everyone else and how does that work? Our show is such a dark show and such a gritty show that I understand why the writers have had to write for Hailey going through this horrible trauma and she’s lost her partner and her husband. And so it makes sense for the themes and the tone of our show.”

But is there anything he can say to give Upstead fans hope? “No, there’s nothing I can say. That is completely out of my hands and out of my wheelhouse now,” he admits, offering, “I’m sorry. Yeah, nothing I can do.”

Now that he’s stepped behind the camera, would he want to direct himself in the future? “I wouldn’t be opposed to it. It would be interesting,” Soffer says. “I’m sure it would be a really difficult kind of task to have to do both things at once. And would you do playback and watch the take or would you just trust your first AD that you got it or whatever you needed? That’d be tricky, but not opposed to the challenge.”

And right now, the challenge of trying to hold out hope may continue for fans of Upstead.

Chicago P.D., Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC

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