Chicago P.D.'s Jesse Lee Soffer shares why he chose to leave the show

Celebrities Visit Build - November 19, 2019
Celebrities Visit Build - November 19, 2019 / Jim Spellman/GettyImages

Jesse Lee Soffer is giving fans insight into why he decided to leave the police drama, Chicago P.D.

Having starred on the NBC crime drama since it debut in 2013, the actor made the surprising call last year to turn in his badge during the show's 10th season. And he's previously made no comments about why he took that decision -- until now!

"I've thought so hard about how to answer this question—and there's no good answer," Soffer, 38, who portrayed Detective Jay Halstead on the show, told Variety in an interview published Feb. 23. "Except I was ready for more."

"Eventually, you know the character so well, there's not much that can shift or transform," he continued. "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."

And it wasn't an easy call by any means, calling the decision to leave the One Chicago world "one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make in my life."