Jesse Lee Soffer is joining FBI: International (but there's a catch)

We did NOT expect this casting announcement.
Celebrities Visit Build - November 19, 2019
Celebrities Visit Build - November 19, 2019 / Jim Spellman/GettyImages

Jesse Lee Soffer is an unpredictable artist. He left Chicago PD after a decade of playing one of the show's main characters, but he came back to direct two episodes. He wanted to try different things as an actor, but now he's joined another procedural show. The procedural show is part of the One Chicago universe, but he will NOT be playing the character we've come to know him by.

Let's unpack.

Variety announced that Soffer will be joining the cast of FBI: International in its upcoming fourth season. FBI: International is part of the larger FBI franchise, which has been established to exist in the same universe as One Chicago. Several Chicago PD characters have even made cameos on FBI. The actor will be throwing continuity to the wind, however.

Jesse Lee Soffer is replacing FBI's Luke Kleintank

“Wheelman” – The Fly Team races through the streets of Budapest to put a halt to a major art heist about to be perpetrated by an American. Also, Forrester grows angry as Dandridge watches every move the team makes, on the CBS Original series FBI: INTERNATIONAL, Tuesday, Jan. 3 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Pictured: Luke Kleintank as Special Agent Scott Forrester. Photo: Nelly Kiss/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. /

Soffer will be playing a brand new character. The character will serve as a replacement for Scott Forrester (Luke Kleintank), who was part of the show's original lineup and was written off towards the end of season 3. This means that Soffer will not only be joining the FBI: International cast, but he will be doing so as a main character.

This is a fascinating and frankly shocking development. If we were asked to predict which former Chicago PD actor would have moved over to FBI, we would have said Tracy Spiridakos. The actress just left PD, and her final episode saw her character, Hailey Upton, looking at FBI listings. It turns out, Soffer, who's dating Spiridakos in real life, was the one looking at listings.

Soffer will be playing a brand new character

Chicago P.D. - Season 10
CHICAGO P.D. -- "A Good Man" Episode 1003 -- Pictured: Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

Soffer's decision to ignore his Chicago PD is unprecedented. There have been instances of actors playing multiple roles within the One Chicago/FBI universe, but it usually happened before said actor landed a spot in the main cast. Once a character proves a hit with fans, the actor sticks with them.

Soffer's decision doesn't mean Jay Halstead is unable to return to Chicago PD, but it does make the odds more slim. The actor previously told Variety that he wanted to take on an acting risk, so it's safe to assume that his new FBI character will be very different from Halstead. We're intrigued.

Next. S. Chicago PD just pulled off an insane cameo. dark