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Jason Beghe Was a "Champion" of Jesse Lee Soffer's Chicago P.D. Return: "I Love Him"

Soffer, who played Det. Jay Halstead from Seasons 1-10, returned directed Season 11's penultimate episode "Inventory".

By Elizabeth Logan

Chicago P.D. fans may have been sad to see Jesse Lee Soffer (Jay Halstead), leave the show at the end of Season 10, but he was never really gone from the Chicago P.D. family.

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Watch Chicago P.D. on NBC and Peacock.

After making his directorial debut with Season 10's "Deadlocked," Soffer returned to helm the penultimate episode of Season 11, "Inventory," a heart-pumping cat-and-mouse game pitting Sgt. Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) against serial killer Frank Matson (Dennis Flanagan). And Beghe knew all along that Soffer had the chops to pull it off.

Jason Beghe reflects on being directed by Jesse Lee Soffer

"I was a champion for Jesse directing. I think Jesse's a spectacularly good actor, he's a great actor, but I think because of his sensibilities, I thought that he would be a spectacular director," Beghe told NBC Insider.

RELATED: Jesse Lee Soffer Belting an Adele Hit with 2 Other Chicago P.D. Stars Is Perfect

He added that because they'd worked together for so long, Soffer didn't have the usual deference to Beghe's version of his character. "I'm kind of like the guy who plays Voight, you know... established. A lot of times directors may be reticent to giving me notes... because I can be intimidating maybe or something. [Soffer] is not like that at all 'cause we're brothers, you know? I love him. We are very close. There's an intimacy there. We know each other and trust each other."

Voight and Halstead on Chicago PD Epiosde 1002

He continued, "We've helped each other up when we were cut down to our knees... He's honest. You want somebody to tell you you're screwing up, you know, and he's good at that."

Chicago P.D. stars on working with Jesse Lee Soffer

Tracy Spiridakos (aka Upton, who plays Soffer's former on-screen love interest) shared a series of photos from his time on set to honor the May 15 episode.

"Tonight’s episode was directed by the one and only, our very own @jesseleesoffer 🥳🥳🥳!! And you guys, it’s a realllllllly good one. You don’t want to miss it," she said.

Kim Burgess, Kevin Atwater and Adam Ruzek in Chicago P.D. Season 11 Episode 12

When it was first announced that he'd be going behind the camera in 2022, Patrick John Flueger (Adam Ruzek), was a little nervous about the dynamic on set. 

"When you work this closely and you become that close with somebody after a decade, they know you pretty well. So I’m excited for him to direct, but I’m also a little nervous for him to direct," Flueger joked. "'Cause I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to get through things without laughing. Because I’m embarrassed that Jesse can see right through me like I’m a transparent ghost."

RELATED: The Chicago P.D. Cast Gathered with Jesse Lee Soffer for His 40th Birthday Dinner

Calling Soffer a "very, very, very close friend," Flueger praised the actor-director. "He’s got incredible ideas, he’s able to offer them to actors and to the writers and to camera people in a way that displays diplomacy that I think you have to have when you’re directing TV," he said, adding, "he’s got that in spades. He’s just got a way of getting what he wants, when he really wants it, and when he knows it’s right. But also offering those suggestions and those opinions in such a way that it doesn’t put people off."

Watch Season 11 of Chicago P.D. on NBC Wednesdays at 10/9c and next day on Peacock.

Reporting by McKenzie Jean-Philippe.