Why Is Jesse Lee Soffer’s Jay Halstead Leaving Chicago PD?

Image Credit: Lori Allen/NBC

From its premiere episode, Detective Jay Halstead is one of the most significant characters of NBC’s police procedural series ‘Chicago P.D.’ Jay’s growth to become a mature detective, his relationships with Erin Lindsay and Hailey Upton, and his fight against PTSD are integral storylines of the show. Over the nine seasons of the show, Jay has played a major role in solving several crimes that affect the city of Chicago. After the conclusion of the ninth season, Jesse Lee Soffer, who plays Jay, announced that the tenth round of the action drama will be his last season in the show. Naturally, the admirers of the intriguing character may want to know the reason behind Soffer’s decision. Well, here’s everything we know about the same!

Why is Jesse Lee Soffer Leaving Chicago P.D.?

Jesse Lee Soffer announced his upcoming departure from ‘Chicago P.D.’ on August 29, 2022. “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,” Soffer said in a statement. “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.”

Image Credit: Lori Allen/NBC

However, Soffer, NBC, and showrunner Gwen Sigan have refrained from revealing the reason behind the actor’s exit from the show. Soffer may want to take a break from the character he has been playing nearly for a decade. After portraying Jay’s highs and lows for nearly two hundred episodes, Soffer must have felt that he needs to part ways with the detective to explore other characters. Even though the actor is not currently a part of the cast of any other projects, except for a TV movie titled ‘Hatfields & McCoys,’ we can expect to see him in other projects in the future.

If that’s not the case, Jesse Lee Soffer must be looking forward to taking a break from his acting career. Soffer made his feature film debut at the age of eight in 1993. After working as an actor for nearly three decades, Soffer may want to take a break from his profession to revive himself as an artist and spend time with his family. Whatever the exact reason is, we can expect to hear the same from the actor after his departure. As of now, neither NBC nor Soffer has revealed when the actor will exit from the show other than the announcement that it will happen “sometime in the fall.”

Showrunner Gwen Sigan had expressed how much of a loss Soffer’s exit from the show will be. “We’re all very sad about it [Soffer’s exit]. Jesse’s meant so much to this show, and you couldn’t ask for more professional and kind person to work with. So we’re all going to be so devastated,” Sigan told Variety. “I think it just what he brings to the show just as a person and then his character on top of it — you’re looking at a character that has meant a lot to Voight and is married to Hailey,” the showrunner added.

As far as Jay’s story arc is concerned, showrunner Gwen Sigan has been keeping the same under wraps. However, she had revealed that it will not happen suddenly or abruptly. “Hopefully, it all makes sense when everyone sees the episode that he’s [Soffer] departing in, and we did build to it, and we did have a chance to do that,” Sigan told TVLine. “We tried to keep it as grounded [as possible] and do justice to Jesse and how great he is. He puts in a very good performance in all of it. It’s going to be really impactful,” she added.

Sigan also made it clear that the developments that will pave the way for the completion of Jay’s story arc will be “true to his character.” “I’ve been trying to look at it as really giving him [Soffer] something incredibly powerful and impactful. I think he’s really brilliant in this season, what he’s been in, and so it’s nice to see him have that,” she told Variety in the same interview. “We tried to stay really true to his character and to what he stands for and what he means for the show and for the unit,” Sigan added.

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