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Jesse Lee Soffer Just Returned to the Chicago P.D. Set For This Exciting Reason

"Back at it. Just different," the actor who played Jay Halstead wrote on Instagram.

By Christopher Rosa
The Best Moments from Jesse Lee Soffer's Directed Episode | Chicago P.D. | NBC

It was announced in October 2022 that Jesse Lee Soffer would be returning to Chicago P.D. to direct an episode of Season 10 (specifically, Episode 16). And now we have our first glimpse of Jay Halstead back in action...behind the camera, at least! 

How to Watch

Watch the Season 12 premiere of Chicago P.D. Wednesday, September 25 at 10/9c on NBC

Soffer uploaded an Instagram carousel to his page on February 5 showing himself in full director mode. "Back at it. Just different," Soffer captioned the pics, which include one with Tracy Spiridakos (Upton), a shot of Soffer directing LaRoyce Hawkins (Atwater) and Jason Beghe (Voight), and a larger cast shot. 

Soffer actually shadowed a director of Chicago P.D. earlier this season in preparation for the gig. He specifically helped on the Atwater-focused episode, "Sympathetic Reflex," which Hawkins really appreciated. 

"To have him on the sidelines coaching me up, that's a dynamic we've always had," Hawkins told ET about having Soffer on set behind-the-scenes. "He gave me something in this episode that I think I'm going to keep with me for the rest of my career, and that's how you know you're a good director. There was a moment in the episode where it almost seems like, yeah, we're about to do this scene, but to be honest, this may be a scene that might be cut. Then he told me something interesting. He was like, 'It might get cut, but make them need it.'... Now that's my approach for scenes that seem frivolous."

Hawkins said at the time he was "excited" to have Soffer come back and officially direct. "Jesse, he's been doing this since he was 6 years old," he said. "Over 30 years of experience in the business, and he's learned so much and he has so much to offer. He's one of my favorite storytellers that I've been able to work with over the years because of his approach. So the directing pivot for me, it feels appropriate."

He continued, "We were a little nervous because Jesse is a leader on and off set, and when you lose leadership in a certain capacity, it's hard to know where things might go," he said. "But I think the way everybody's responded and stepped up to the plate and the way that it looks like Jesse's gone, but he's still there, in more ways than one. Over time, we'll see exactly why."

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

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