Tracy Spiridakos breaks silence on why she's leaving Chicago PD

The actress opened up about her monumental decision.
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Center Mass" Episode 714 -- Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Center Mass" Episode 714 -- Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC) /

Tracy Spiridakos has been the story of Chicago PD season 11. The actress announced that she was going to be leaving the show in the finale, and has charted her final days on set via social media. She hasn't divulged her reasoning for wanting to leave, however.

In fact, Spiridakos avoided doing any interviews during the release schedule for the shortened season. Any bit of information fans got was from PD showrunner Gwen Sigan or from co-stars like Jason Beghe and LaRoyce Hawkins. Until now. Spiridakos sat down for an interview with Variety ahead of her final episode, and finally provided an explanation for her exit.

Tracy Spiridakos wants to play different characters

Tracy Spiridakos
"Wolf" Photocall - 62nd Monte Carlo TV Festival / Arnold Jerocki/GettyImages

The short and long of it is that Spiridakos felt she had emptied the tank when it came to portraying Hailey Upton. She'd explored multiple facets of the character since she joined PD in season 4, and realized that she wanted to try something different.

"It was a hard decision — very, very hard," the actress noted. "I love everybody on the show — cast, crew, producers, writers, everybody. It’s such an incredible team. I was just curious what was out there for me and wanted to switch it up, and that was it."

Spiridakos also told the outlet that she'd made up her mind to leave the show during season 10:

"I decided at the end of my sixth season, which is when I had reached out to Gwen and to everyone at Wolf to let them know that I just wanted to do one more year."

The actress says Upton has informed her personality

Chicago P.D. - Season 11
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Water Line" Episode 11011 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jason Beghe as Hank Voight, Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

Sigan previously praised Spiridakos for agreeing to stay another year, so that the writers could give the character of Upton a worthy sendoff. The actress has grown particularly fond of playing Upton, so it was also important to her to stick the landing.

Spiridakos claimed that she's grown as a person in the six years that she's played Upton, and will try to maintain certain aspects of the veteran cop in her personal life. "One of my favorite things about her is her vulnerability [and] her strength," the actress revealed. "For me, I’m not great at vulnerability. As an individual, I usually make awkward jokes,” she says. "Those are the two qualities that I hope have rubbed off on me a little bit, particularly the vulnerability."

Spiridakos didn't explain why her character is leaving the show, so we will just have to tune in and find out for ourselves on May 22.

Next. TS. Tracy Spiridakos debuts new hairstyle on IG. dark