Chicago P.D.’s Jesse Lee Soffer Posts Tribute to ‘Artist and Friend’ Elias Koteas After Shocking Finale

Elias Koteas Jesse Lee Soffer
Elias Koteas and Jesse Lee Soffer attend the NBC Chicago Celebration Party of "Chicago P.D." at STK Chicago on November 9, 2015. Elizabeth Morris/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Warning: this story contains spoilers form the Wednesday, May 9, finale of Chicago P.D.

Chicago P.D. fans, the stars of the show are just as upset as you are over the shocking season 5 finale. Following a stabbing in prison, Alvin Olinskly (Elias Koteas) died in the hospital, leaving all of Intelligence shocked. Following the episode, Jesse Lee Soffer, who portrays Jay Halstead in the NBC drama, took to Instagram to share a photo with Koteas.

“Can’t believe it’s been five years working with @eliaskoteas. What an honor. You’re an artist and a friend,” Soffer, 34, captioned the photo on Thursday, May 10.

Elias Koteas Chicago P.D.
Elias Koteas as Alvin Olinsky on ‘Chicago P.D.’ Parrish Lewis/NBC

Tracy Spiradakos, who plays Hailey Upton in the series, also posted two photos of Koteas, simply writing hearts in her captions.

The shocking death, which came to a surprise to both the cast and fans, was actually made last-minute. Showrunner Rick Eid told Us Weekly that it was strictly a creative decision to move along the story line. Basically, Voight’s (Jason Beghe) actions had to have consequences. And what’s worse than your best friend being murdered for your crime?

“It was a hard decision because we all really liked it creatively – it just felt like there was honesty to the story telling that we all got excited about – then came the practical reality of ‘Wait, he’s one of our favorite characters and one of our favorite actors and favorite people in real life,’” Eid told Us. “All that stuff was just really hard. I think we finally all got on the same page and said, ‘Wow we’re really gonna do this,’ probably a week before we started shooting that episode. It was truly just one of those things that just evolved from storytelling and at the end of 20 ‘What If’s,’ everybody kept coming back to this idea of how this would impact Voight.”

While it may have been right for the story, it wasn’t easy for Eid to tell Koteas, 57, or the rest of the cast.

“It’s brutal because Elias is a great guy and a terrific actor. That part is just horrible,” Eid said. “Everybody really liked both Elias and Olinsky. So it was very emotional for everybody. He’s a big part of the show … It was a hard thing. The real life part of it is very hard.”

Chicago P.D. has been renewed for season 6.

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