nyambi nyambi jay the good fight
Source: CBS All Access

Before Acting, 'The Good Fight's Nyambi Nyambi Was Set on Becoming a Pro Basketball Player


May. 14 2020, Updated 3:56 p.m. ET

Nyambi Nyambi calls The Good Fight "the best show on television" and we have to agree with the actor, who plays investigator Jay DiPersia.

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Over the course of the past four seasons, we've seen the Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart first investigator — eventually joined by Marissa Gold — hunt down bad guys, beat stressful deportation proceedings, bring racial pay discrepancies to light, and most recently, help Christine Baranski's Diane Lockhart get to the bottom of the meaning of Memo 618. 

In short, we've become obsessed with both fictional Jay and Nyambi Nyambi, the actor who plays him. Keep reading for what you need to know.

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nyambi nyambi jay the good fight
Source: Patrick Harbron/CBS

Who is Jay DiPersia?

Jay is the lead investigator at the law firm, and has been since the days of Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad, way before STR Laurie's acquisition.

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Early on, Diane's assistant, Marissa (Sarah Steele), steps on Jay's toes a bit by tracking down employees for a class action lawsuit. Soon enough, Jay warms up to her and begins mentoring her so she can become an investigator herself.

In the second season, we watched him undergo a super intense immigration trial after he's arrested while driving and immigration officers reveal that Jay was actually born in Nigeria and moved to the States as a baby. 

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nyambi nyambi jay the good fight
Source: Patrick Harbron/CBS

Citing Melania Trump's "Einstein" visa, which she was granted for nude modeling, the firm presents Jay's artwork to the courts as grounds for helping him avoid deportation.

Then, we watch Jay get involved with taking down voter intimidators in a rural Illinois town, send a company-wide email to bring the racial pay gap to light in the firm, and most recently, in Season 4, he's helping Diane get to the bottom of Memo 618.

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"I believe [Jay is] the moral compass of the law firm and does what he can to upload the status quo," Nyambi told Meaww. "There's some strong stuff that's happening later on in the season that will be fascinating between Marissa and Jay in terms of the cases that they investigate."

Nyambi Nyambi didn't plan on becoming an actor.

It's always interesting to hear how your favorite actors got started in the industry, and before acting, Nyambi was actually on the path to becoming a professional basketball player. In an interview with CBS, he explained that "basketball was my life." 

"I mean, I'm a sports junkie so I always thought my life was going to end up in sports," he said.

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nyambi nyambi jay the good fight
Source: Patrick Harbron/CBS

It wasn't until he was injured as a senior at Bucknell that Nyambi realized he might have been meant for a different destiny.

Before college, he had taken acting classes on the side and had competed in his high school's forensics team, but his big break came while delivering a Martin Luther King speech for a college gala, and that's the first time he felt "this thing happened, they call it catching the bug, it felt like an out-of-body experience," and realized he had found his calling as an actor.

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"From then on, I never looked back," he said, explaining that he joined the college theater group, and after Bucknell, moved "right to New York and went to a conservatory right away." 

"It's been a dream since then," the actor, who has also worked on CBS's Mike & Molly, explained.

Now, he gets to "play with amazing actors like Christine Baranski, Delroy Lindo, Cush Jumbo and Sarah Steele, who is the one that brought [him] into the fold." 

"It's such a great cast of people," he added.

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Speaking about getting into character to play Jay, he told a funny anecdote about his first day on set. "One of our producers ... asked me what kind of investigator is Jay ... It all happened so quickly and I said I don't know. She said find out and figure it out because that's very important in terms of where we go with this." 

He continued, "The most importnat thing that I said and did was that I don't know. That's where Jay starts from. The idea of I don't kow and he doesn't settle for that. He goes out and listens and gets all the information he can. That's why you see the mysteriousness of him and the silence you get from him. The silence is very loud listening."

New episodes of The Good Fight air Thursdays on CBS All Access.

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