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Jason Beghe Says ‘Chicago P.D.’ Will ‘Survive’ Tracy Spiridakos’ Exit: She’s ‘Part of the Unit’ (Exclusive)

Jason Beghe Thinks Chicago P D Will Survive Tracy Spiridakos Exit
Lori Allen/NBC (2)

Jason Beghe isn’t worried about Tracy Spiridakos’ exit after season 11 of Chicago P.D. — but she will be missed.

“People like to use the metaphor of a family [for a TV show]. I prefer an organism,” Beghe, 64, exclusively told Us Weekly while reflecting on all the casting changes on the NBC series. “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.”

The actor, who plays Sergeant Hank Voight, noted that “sometimes there are certain things that the organism can’t survive,” but Spiridakos’ upcoming departure isn’t one of them.

“I think we’ll survive this, and we have to find ways to [grow],” Beghe said, revealing that Spiridakos’ character, Hailey Upton, “will always” be part of the show as are prior character exits Alvin Olinsky (Elias Koteas) and Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda).

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Beghe continued: “They’re part of the unit. The unit has changed because of them. And that change will always be there as we go forward and continue to evolve as a unit.”

News broke in October 2023 that Spiridakos is saying goodbye to the Intelligence Unit and her role as Upton when season 11, which premiered in January, will come to an end. Spiridakos joined the cast during season 4 in 2017.

Throughout her time on the show, her character formed a deep connection with Voight and romanced Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer).

When Soffer, 39, announced his departure in August 2022 after 10 seasons, fans worried that Halstead and Upton’s marriage would be affected, which it was. Earlier this season, viewers learned that they officially divorced after Halstead’s prolonged gig out of the country caused a falling out. (Soffer, however, did return to direct a season 10 episode in 2023.)

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While Spiridakos hasn’t publicly commented on her exit, former Chicago P.D. star Seda, 53, exclusively told Us earlier this year that he’d be up for a comeback.

“It was a great time working on Chicago shows. It was incredible, amazing cast,” he gushed in January. “That whole universe is incredible. It was so unique.” Seda, who left the One Chicago universe in 2019, teased, “Antonio didn’t die. He’s still alive.”

Beghe, for his part, told Us in March that the long-running drama is constantly shaking things up, which he has learned to embrace.

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“One of the things that I’ve always tried to do … is that you want to focus on change and evolving,” Beghe explained. “And it’s not like, ‘Oh, I got the character. Oh, I know who I am. I’m done.’ You might as well be dead.”

He pointed out that his philosophy in life is that there’s “nothing to do on this planet except improve and learn and grow,” otherwise you’ll stop and then “you die.”

Beghe uses that same approach to keeping Voight fresh for viewers. “If the character’s interested in his own life or her own life, then the audience will hopefully be more apt to be interested instead,” he added. “If you’ve seen it and that’s who that person is and there’s no change, then you might as well just watch a rerun.”

Chicago P.D. airs on NBC Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET.

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