Chicago PD interview: Jesse Lee Soffer previews finale, Lindsay, Halstead, more

Jesse Lee SofferThe Chicago PD season 4 finale airs on NBC this Wednesday night, and it looks to be an integral episode for the Lindsay – Halstead relationship. Following some awkwardness between them after their split, he has to find a way to support her through an incredibly trying and even life-altering crime. Her mother is facing serious legal trouble, and Lindsay also is facing review following her own recent actions in the interrogation room.

With that being said, who better to preview this finale than someone at the center of all the action? In the middle of a busy upfront day we were excited to have a chance to speak with Jesse Lee Soffer about the future of Lindsay / Halstead, meeting Jay’s father on Chicago Med, the show’s recent season 5 renewal, and a whole lot more.

CarterMatt – I’m sure you guys felt pretty confident back when filming wrapped, but it had to feel pretty good to get the renewal news last week.

Jesse Lee Soffer – Yeah! You never know what’s going to happen in the TV world. When we got that pickup and found out that it was another 23 episodes, it was awesome.

If you had asked me in season 1 how long the show was going to go on, I would’ve loved to have said more than five seasons, but there was no way to know that. It’s a dream come true.

What do you think of where Lindsay and Halstead are now, following some of the struggles that they’ve had the past few weeks?

Halstead always tries to come to Lindsay’s rescue. She’s fallen off the deep end a couple of times and he wants to try and pick up the pieces. When they had the storyline where she took it too far in the interrogation room and threatened the pedophile, it made sense; but, she’s falling apart. He wants to fix things with her, to rekindle things and take care of her.

So, in the last episode, he’s running around with his mom’s ring in his pocket, waiting to figure out if he can ask Lindsay to marry him. We’ll see what happens.

Is there any concern on Jay’s part that if he does go through with the idea of an engagement, that it could blow up on him and make things even worse?

I don’t think he’s thinking that far ahead. His partner is in trouble, and he still loves her and he wants to help her and make it right. He’s more worried about just being there for her than he is about anything in the future. I don’t think that he’s really planning any of this at all. He’s not thinking in terms of ‘this is what our lives are going to look like’ or ‘we’re going to have kids.’ He just wants to let her know that he’s there for her.

Do you think Halstead’s just a guy in general who tends to live in the moment, and try to be present as opposed to looking ahead?

With this relationship, he’s really just living in the moment and flying by the seat of his pants.

In this finale, it also looks like Lindsay is going to find herself in a real predicament when her mother is going to find herself accused of a crime. What role is Jay going to have, whether it be helping Lindsay or working on that case?

I think Jay is trying to put himself between Lindsay and her mom, just because Bunny is such a detrimental part of her life and he’s always trying to protect her from her mom, so we’ll see him do that. He’s also trying to protect Bunny at points in the finale. Everyone’s just trying to make this problem go away, while trying to save Lindsay and her family.

You have a pretty big cast, so it isn’t that often that you do get to work with certain people. Have you enjoyed getting to do some of the Jay / Olinsky stuff lately and working with Elias [Koteas]?

Elias and I get along great. We’re actually really similar in some ways, which would probably surprise people. I love working with him. He’s so much fun, and there’s always something new no matter how you prepare the scene. With a guy like him, you can often figure it out in the moment and it makes it really exciting. We always end up surprising ourselves, which makes the job really fun and fulfilling.

Earlier this season on Chicago Med we had that episode where Jay and Will’s father (played by Louis Herthum) turns up. I’m sure you had thought about what that character would be like. Did it turn out to be similar to what you expected?

No. Honestly I had no idea what it was going to be like, and I didn’t have any preconceived notions of how it was going to play out. I loved the casting. I had just seen Herthum in Westworld and it was such a fun role. I wish we got play around on PD a little bit in addition to Med. It was cool to see him as this really blue-collar guy, really rough around the edges. It wasn’t how I pictured it at first, but in the portrayal of it totally made sense.

Do you think Jay would be alright with a Will – Natalie relationship over on Med? Jay and Natalie seem to have a pretty good bond; they went to that game together earlier in the season!

I think [Jay and Natalie] had a fun, friendly flirtation. I don’t think it was ever a thought in his mind that it might go somewhere. I think it really became a fun story about a brother looking at his other brother and being like ‘I see you and you’re so full of crap. What are you doing?’ I think that moment [with Will and Natalie] was a really special one in the Med finale.

I know there have been a lot of changes behind the scenes with Chicago PD for next season, but have you gotten any indication of what the story might be, or is that a question more for July?

It’s something more for July. We don’t know anything right now, and I don’t think the writers have really started anything yet. We have a new showrunner [in Rick Eid], so we don’t really know just yet what the new story is going to look like.

Are there any more avenues that you would like to see explored for Jay in season 5?

We touched on some of Jay’s history this season with some of the PTSD that he has after fighting in Afghanistan, and it would be interesting to play out some of that. He ended up breaking up with Lindsay because he said he couldn’t open up and he had to go to therapy. He was having problems. We kind of dropped that a little bit, but it’s always a part of the character and it’d be interesting to pick that up and dive into that a little bit more.

Last thing — let’s say Chicago Justice gets picked up for another season, and there’s a five-part crossover including Law & Order: SVU that gets ordered for next year. Is that idea exciting, or terrifying?

It’s terrifying (laughs). It’s always fun working with such a great group of people, and all the actors involved are passionate and it’s really a big family.

As far as scheduling goes, it’s a nightmare. It’s practically a five-hour miniseries! To keep track of the entire story over the course of just a couple of weeks of filming is impossible. It’s terrifying, but it’s always fun when we get to do it.

Further Chicago PD coverage

We want to give a very special thanks to Jesse for being so candid with us about this season of Chicago PD. To watch a preview for the upcoming finale, head over to the link here. As always, feel free to share some comments on this story below. (Photo: NBC.)

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