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Tracy Spiridakos is Leaving Chicago P.D. After 7 Years: What to Know
Season 11 will mark Spiridakos' final season after playing Det. Hailey Upton for seven seasons.
After first appearing as Det. Hailey Upton in 2017 during Season 4, Tracy Spiridakos is leaving Chicago P.D.
The current Season 11 will be the actress' last, though showrunner Gwen Sigan confirmed to Hello! that she is set to appear in all 13 episodes of the season. Find out everything we know about Spiridakos' departure here on NBC Insider.
Why is Tracy Spiridakos leaving Chicago P.D.?
Though Spiridakos has yet to publicly speak on her exit, Sigan explained to Hello! that the star was simply "ready to depart, and has been very kind in giving us a full season to do her character justice."
Spiridakos is the first actor to leave the show since Jesse Lee Soffer's exit in Season 10, Episode 3's "A Good Man". Soffer played Det. Jay Halstead since Season 1, and often shared the screen with Spiridakos, who as Upton, was his on-screen wife.
"I was ready for more," the actor told Variety about his decision to leave the series. "Eventually, you know the character so well, there’s not much that can shift or transform. 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.'"
He continued, “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.”
Why is Upton leaving Chicago P.D.?
While we know that Upton will remain on the show throughout Season 11, it's yet to be revealed how exactly she'll leave the Intelligence Unit. However, Sigan hinted at their plans for the character.
"We're really going to dig into that this season, and dig into growth and transformation — how do you get through your life not looking like what you thought it was going to look like, and realizing that there could be more out there that is maybe better for you?" she said. "It will be a fun ride for her, and there are some interesting and new characters coming in for her to play against."
Coming off of Season 10, Upton was still coming to terms with Halstead leaving her for Bolivia, with their marriage seemingly nearing its end. In Season 10, Episode 20's "Fight", Upton took off her ring after repeated failed attempts to talk to her estranged husband.
"You know it is OK to let go if you're the only one fighting. Doesn't mean you don't love 'em, just means you love you, too," Voight (Jason Beghe) told Upton.
"I’m interested to see what that will be like. Is that a goodbye? Is that self preservation?" Spiridakos told Variety in January 2023. "I’d like to explore what that feels like to have been in such a raw place and she’s not overly open anyway. I feel that she probably will just shut that door for a long time.”
While we wait to see how exactly Spirdakos and Upton's time on Chicago P.D. will wrap up, catch up on her journey before her character's story officially comes to a close.
Upton's journey on Chicago P.D.
Spiridakos, a Canadian actress, made her One Chicago debut at the end of Chicago P.D. Season 4. Episode 21's "Fagin" as Det. Hailey Upton, a member of the Robbery-Homicide unit. Impressed with her work on a case they solve together, Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) offers her a job in Intelligence, which she takes in the next episode ("Army of One"). During her time on the team, she is quarantined, kidnapped, and nearly dies multiple times.
Upton was raised in an abusive home, and over the course of many seasons reveals that she became a cop to help other victims of violence. She grew up in Chicago, and her parents owned a diner, which was robbed when Upton was a kid -- the robbery was investigated by Sergeant Trudy Platt (Amy Morton).
She is an empathetic person, and suffers from panic attacks and insomnia from various traumatic events throughout her life.
In the fifth season premiere ("Reform"), Upton is partnered with Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer). The two quickly become close, but keep their relationship professional for years, until finally sharing their first kiss in the beginning of Season 8 (Episode 3, "Tender Age"). They keep the romance a secret from the rest of the Intelligence unit until they are engaged and living together in Season 9. They marry in a courthouse wedding.
Soffer left the series a few episodes into through season 10, and though it's not explicitly said that "Upstead" is over, Halstead leaving Intelligence to fight drug cartels in Bolivia strained their relationship.
Showrunner Gwen Sigan told NBC Insider, "Hailey's...someone that doesn't love dealing with emotion, doesn't love confronting it head on. She's naturally guarded, she wants to be strong, and she also wants to be strong for Jay too. He asked her for this, he said he needed it, and she loves him. But, the reality is, she's been left behind. And that's gutting. We'll see her deal with it by first seeking distraction—diving into work, putting all that feeling into the job — and when a case pops off that really gets inside her head, that distraction quickly turns to an obsession. It's an interesting path for her, fueled by a lot of emotion and denial."