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Jesse Lee Soffer talks NBC's 'Chicago PD'

Soffer stars as Detective Jay Halstead on "Chicago PD".
Soffer stars as Detective Jay Halstead on "Chicago PD". NBC Universal

Jesse Lee Soffer has taken on the streets of Chicago on NBC’s Chicago PD! On the new police-focused drama created by Dick Wolf ("Law & Order"), Soffer plays Detective Jay Halstead, a brash young cop on the intelligence unit who while fighting crimes finds himself questioning if the “good cop” way is always the best way to keep the windy city safe. It’s that ambiguity in his character that Soffer says he’s most enjoying about him.

“I love that he's not one thing. I think that's common with all of us. He lives in a gray area,” said Soffer in an interview at NBC’s Winter Press Tour Sunday. “A lot of times on cop shows you're a bad cop or you're a good cop. It's black or white. You're by the books or you're not. And for him every day is a new thing. He's always finding himself in situations where it's like how far are you willing to go to get the job done? And how far are you willing to go to do what you think is right which maybe is against the law? Where do you blur the lines and where does your moral compass take you to accomplish what you think needs to get done?”

The 29-year-old actor added that he likes how he is able to discover more about his character through the complex situations he is put in.
“That's been the most fun thing to play out because it's those situations where you learn about the character; because we're always learning. You're always learning about your character even if the show has been on for ten years. There are still things that you figure out as you go on and every time there's one of those situations that comes up, it's like well, where does he sit here? How does he feel about this?”

In addition to getting to know more sides of his on-screen persona, Soffer says he also been having fun with the training he and his co-stars had to have for all the action sequences on this spinoff toChicago Fire.
“It's been great. We had a great time learning together as a team. Some of the officers, our technical advisors really helped us be tactfully sound,” said Soffer. “It runs together not just as actors, but as a unit, actually in the show. It's some of the most exciting stuff we get to do I think. It's so fun getting to play all that!”

“Chicago PD” airs Wednesdays at 10pm est on NBC.