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Jesse Lee Soffer enjoys #Linstead as much as you do

Watch "Chicago P.D." Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on NBC.Matt Dinerstein, NBC

Life as a hashtag seems like it might be a little weird, but Jesse Lee Soffer is having fun with it. He plays Detective Jay Halstead on “Chicago P.D.” and is one half of the very popular #Linstead on Twitter, alongside co-star Sophia Bush, who plays Detective Erin Lindsay. Both are officers in the Intelligence Department in the Chicago P.D., and fans have been hoping the duo would get together from the beginning of the series (hence the hashtag efforts).

Soffer is quick to credit Bush with keeping the hashtag lively. “I think it has a lot to do with Soph’s social media presence. We have a lot of her fans on there,” he says. He says they’re pretty happy with all the Twitter love. “The more people that we get attached and hooked, the better. I think they keep coming back for the relationships. They love seeing how these cops deal with what they go through at work and how they bring that into their personal lives.”

#Linstead took a big step this season by embarking on a romance, helped by the fact that Bush’s Lindsay had left the department.

“It’s exciting to see the fans’ reaction to it. It’s been great. It’s something that started in episode 1. One of the stage directions on the first scene between Halstead and Lindsay was ‘There’s heat between these two,’ and that’s become a running joke. Any time we’re on set, it’s like, ‘oh, there’s heat there,’” says Soffer with a laugh.

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He thinks it’s a good idea they’re finally exploring the romance a little. “I think if we didn’t start to explore it right now as we are, the fans probably would have been like, screw this, I’m out of here.”

But as of the last episode, Lindsay rejoining the team. What exactly will that mean for the couple? For one thing, Halstead has to worry about the reaction of the department head, Hank Voight (Jason Beghe).

“Voight’s like a father figure to her, and I think Halstead knows that he’d probably get his butt kicked if Voight found out,” says Soffer.

For now, they’re focusing on their big crossover episode with “Chicago Fire,” which began Tuesday night and continues Wednesday as both sets of characters try to solve the murder of a slain firefighter, Leslie Shay. “The whole team gets involved. As it is in our reality on the shows, we’re all friends with Shay, and it’s just as important to us to find out who her killer was now that we know that it was a murder,” says Soffer.

With all these crossover episodes, does Soffer ever get jealous of the stunts the firefighters get to do? “I think they get jealous of the stuff we get to do,” says Soffer with confidence.

Soffer has a few theories about why Halstead and Lindsay connect. “There was a friendship and a kinship and a bond first before [the romance] started happening. They were partners, they took care of each other, they want to protect each other, so whatever’s there goes a little deeper than just a fling or something, which is why they fought it for so long.”

Of course, having a few things in common helps, too. “They’re both a little rough around the edges. They’re also a little elitist. They’re kind of judgmental. They generally think they’re the toughest cops on the scene, and I think that’s why they play off each other so well,” says Soffer.

 
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