Chicago P.D. alum Jesse Lee Soffer opened up in a big way about why he decided to leave the show.
Within the world of One Chicago, Jesse played Detective Jay Halstead, a character that first appeared in Chicago Fire Season 1.
When the new Dick Wolf universe got expanded, Halstead became an important part of Intelligence on Chicago P.D.
For nine full seasons, Halstead was one of the main components of the show, seemingly getting groomed to eventually take over as team leader for Hank Voight.
Around the beginning of Chicago P.D. Season 10, though, it was announced that Jesse would be leaving the show.
The writers had to create a situation where Halstead would leave Chicago, and they had the character re-enlist in the Army.
Jesse Lee Soffer speaks about leaving Chicago P.D.
“I’ve thought so hard about how to answer this question — and there’s no good answer. Except I was ready for more,” Jesse told Variety in a new interview when asked why he left the show.
“Eventually, you know the character so well, there’s not much that can shift or transform,” Jesse went on to add.
Jesse Lee Soffer explains the timing of his Chicago P.D. exit
It was revealed previously that Jesse decided to come back for the first three episodes of Chicago P.D. Season 10 in order to give his character some closure. It also gave the writers some extra time to figure out a narrative for it all.
As for why Jesse made the decision to leave the show after Season 9, he gave a pretty good reason that had to do with how long his next contract would have been.
“I really wanted to grow and expand, and we’ve only got this one trip. 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,'” Jesse also told Variety.
But nobody should think that the decision came easy for Jesse, as he loves the fans and knew that this would be hard on them.
“It was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make in my life. Let’s be honest: I love the fans of our show so much, and I love my fans. I know that they’re still grieving this, and to some degree, I am too,” Jesse added.
More from Chicago P.D. Season 10
Recently, Jesse was back on the set of Chicago P.D. to work on an episode that will come out this spring. He served as the director for the 16th episode of Season 10, letting him go behind the camera for his new job.
And after enjoying her time with Jesse again, Tracy Spiridakos (Detective Hailey Upton) also shared some fun Chicago P.D. set photos that featured Jesse in them.
Before that new episode debuts where Jesse serves as a director, Chicago P.D. Episode No. 200 is coming out. A lot of work went into this one, which celebrates the show reaching a huge milestone.
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.