NBC Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
NBC Insider One Chicago

Jesse Lee Soffer Updates Fans on His Summer and Debuts an Unexpected New Friend

You'll be pleasantly surprised.

By Jackie Manno

Jesse Lee Soffer (Jay Halstead) just attracts nature wherever he goes!

How to Watch

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

On July 3, the former Chicago P.D. star took to his official Instagram page to share a peculiar interaction with a little creature. Sitting outside near a restaurant on a bright, sunny day, Soffer sported a casual baseball cap and black t-shirt. He candidly held up the camera to his arm to give fans a glimpse of his new friend: A tiny green bug perched cozily on his sleeve. 

"How’s your summer going? Mine’s cool. A baby praying mantis landed on my arm," he cheekily captioned the post

This lighthearted moment must have been refreshing for Soffer, as his Chicago P.D. character went through an intense arch. Even though he left the show during Season 10, he sort of made a return in a moment during Season 10, Episode 20, titled "Fight." Basically, his estranged partner Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) called Halstead to ask that he communicate with her before making huge decisions, like extending his military contract. However, his face and voice were not seen or head on screen. 

In an interview with Variety, Soffer opened up about how he feels about Halstead's departure from Chicago P.D. “I know the fans are upset be­cause, like, ‘This isn’t the Jay that we know and love! Why isn’t he calling? Why is he doing this?!’ But, you know, the show must go on. I don’t think I really have the right to feel any way about that. The writers have to do what they have to do to service the story, and the characters that are still there. Also, our show’s pretty dark, and they love diving into the ugliest, hardest version of life. So for Hailey to have to go through this, it probably just made sense,” he told the outlet. 

“He’s deeply flawed, because everybody on Chicago P.D. is," he said. "But he’s definitely a good person, with really good motives,” he added. 

However, Soffer returned to the set behind the screen to direct a Season 10 episode titled "Deadlocked." 

“Some of it was effortless. Some of it was frustrating. Some of it was super rewarding. Some of it was humbling,” Soffer said of the experience. “It was easier than I thought it was gonna be, because we’re storytellers in this industry, and I love telling stories. When I’d get a script that was a Halstead-centric story, I’d break that sucker down so much, calling the producers with suggestions. I’ve been doing that all along, so it was an easy shift.”