Chicago PD star addresses Hailey Upton exit: 'We'll survive this'

It's not going to be easy, but the IU will move on.
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Unpacking" Episode 11001 -- Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Unpacking" Episode 11001 -- Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

Chicago PD is gearing up for a seismic shift. The police drama is going to part ways with Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) at the end of season 11, after eight years of cases and personal drama, and it will take some time for fans to get adjusted.

There's always a concern that a main character leaving a show will lead to the show's demise, or diminish it in such a way that it never quite reaches the same heights as when the character was around. It's something that Chicago PD had to contend with when Alvin Olinksy (Elias Koteas) died and when Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) decided to leave town.

Jason Beghe has faith in the PD ensemble

Chicago P.D. - Season 11
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Retread" Episode 11002 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jason Beghe as Hank Voight, Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton, Marina Squerciati as Kim Burgess -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

Fortunately, PD has been able to forge ahead and introduce characters who continue to lead fresh and exciting storylines. Upton was, herself, a sort of replacement for Erin Lindsay (Sophia Bush), who many fans adored during the first couple seasons.

Jason Beghe aka Hank Voight discussed the tricky process of evolving the show during an interview with Us Weekly. He acknowledged that it will be sad to see Tracy Spiridakos leave the cast, but remains confident in the show and its ability to recover:

"I think we’ll survive this, and we have to find ways to [grow]... That change will always be there as we go forward and continue to evolve as a unit."

Beghe, who has been part of Chicago PD since day one, also laid out a comparison between the show and an organism, which he felt was more apt than comparing the show (and its cast) to a family.

Beghe likened the show to an evolving 'organism'

Chicago P.D. - Season 10
CHICAGO P.D. -- "I Can Let You Go" Episode 1012 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton, Jason Beghe as Hank Voight -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

In the actor's estimation, PD is all about maximizing and getting the best out of each component, whether it's new or old. He concedes that there are certain things that the organism (ie the show) will not be able to survive, but feels that Upton's exit will not be one of them:

"When somebody leaves, whether your child goes off to college or somebody dies or whatever it is, the whole thing has to adjust and it’s not going to be the same.”"

Beghe's comments could not have been better timed, as it coincided with the announcement that Chicago PD has been renewed for a 12th season.

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