Chicago PD Season 11 Photo Confirms Jesse Lee Soffer’s Return – With A Catch

Chicago PD Season 11 Photo Confirms Jesse Lee Soffer's Return - With A Catch


There's been much speculation that Jesse Lee Soffer will pop back up during "Chicago P.D." Season 11 if only so his character, Jay Halstead, might be the one to escort his estranged ex-wife, Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos), offscreen. While there's no word as to whether or not Halstead will return for Upton's final episodes, Soffer is already back on the drama's set … as a director. 

Chicago PD Season 11 Photo Confirms Jesse Lee Soffer's Return - With A Catch

According to a story posted to the actor's Instagram account, Soffer will direct an upcoming episode of "Chicago P.D." On March 25, he posted an image of his dressing room on the set, which bears a sign reading, "Jesse Lee Sofer: prepping director."

The statement was backed up by a post made to Spiridakos' Instagram, which shows Soffer on the drama's set, having fun with the actor's phone alongside Jason Beghe and other cast members. "This is what happens when you leave your phone unattended around here," she joked.

Though Jesse Lee Soffer left "Chicago P.D." because he was ready to do more with his career, he's continued to return to the set intermittently since Jay's Season 10 exit, and this Season 11 episode doesn't mark his first time in the director's chair. 


This isn't the first time Jesse Lee Soffer has directed an episode of Chicago P.D.

Chicago PD Season 11 Photo Confirms Jesse Lee Soffer's Return - With A Catch


This will mark the second time Jesse Lee Soffer directs an episode of "Chicago P.D." He made his debut behind the camera during Season 10's "Deadlocked," which took place only a few episodes after Jay Halstead's exit from the show. Per Soffer, there was an intentionally quick shift between acting and directing an episode.

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"It was a really kind of seamless transition. I didn't really take a break. The second I got done working, I think I maybe went back to LA for three or four days and then went back to set and started shadowing right away. So it's like I never really left," he told TV Insider in 2023 before the outing debuted.  

Soffer added that working as an actor on the show helped prepare him for his directorial debut. "For a long time, at least since Season 2 or 3, once all of us really got a sense of the show and the characters, we all as regulars on the show would help direct scenes here and there or you'd have an idea that would come up or something that would be a great fix," he explained. He compared his work as an actor with that of a puzzle-solver, specifically mentioning the work it takes to turn a page in a script into a fully-fledged scene.

While several "Chicago P.D." fans found Jay Halstead's character arc very disappointing, it's clear Soffer put a lot of thought into the role. He may continue to do so, should Jay return to the program — if only to soothe fans' anger over Halstead's bizarre exit from the show.


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