Jesse Lee Soffer returns to NBC’s Chicago PD. but not like Jay Halstead. Instead, he makes his directorial debut in tonight’s episode “Deadlocked.” The actor announced in late August that he would wrap up his 10-season run on the drama Dick Wolf, with his final appearance on October 5. The news came weeks after he met with the cast and crew in the director’s chair. Deadlocked is the sequel to The Ghost Inside Of You, which aired on February 15.
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“This was the perfect episode for me to direct,” Soffer said in a recent interview with Deadline. “I love this episode because it was like an old school PD flashback episode where Voight [Jason Beghe] it goes off the rails, stuff like Man on Fire, vigilante stuff, and living in the gray area off the books. That’s the story we tell, especially the contrast between Halstead and Voight, for so long that I know that very well. So it was a lot of fun doing that kind of story with Jason.” (Hollywood reporter)
Soffer said it felt “really satisfying” to be reunited with his “close-knit” family, referring to the cast and crew, who recalled how much fun they had “playing” behind the scenes. “It was like I had never been outside,” he said. “We just hung out and played, then the cameras rolled and we worked to bring the scenes to life. We probably have one of the hardest working crews and casts on television, I can safely say. It was great to be with everyone.” (Hollywood reporter)
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Since leaving, Soffer has served as successor to directors Bethany Rooney, Marc Roskin and Chad Saxon (also a PDProducters of director) in the build-up to tonight’s episode. “They are all very different in the way they lead,” she said of the trio. Learning these new skills did not convince Soffer to reconsider his acting career. In fact, directing has given him a different perspective from which he can continue to grow.