Plus, watch an exclusive deleted scene from the fifth season!
The Good Fight is returning to the courtroom for season 6, but before the new episodes drop on Paramount+, series star Nyambi Nyambi -- who plays investigator Jay DiPersia -- revisited his character's journey up to this point in the legal drama.
"The journey for my character over the last five years has been a rollercoaster one. From having to bring Marissa Gold, played by a Sarah Steele, under my wing [to] navigating the ins and outs of being an investigator. And then also feeling my job in jeopardy because of that? But then finding an ally in her. And of course, my run-ins with Adrian Boseman," Nyambi told ET during a March interview over the phone. (Watch an exclusive deleted scene from season 5 above.) "It tested my friendships, my allegiances to the firm versus my family and friends, and what's truly important. And then, of course, finding out that my character's not from this country -- that no, you're Nigerian."
"Of course, everything that happened with the Neo-Nazi, far, far, far, far, far, far right organization that was trying to suppress the votes, and actually seeing a physical somebody that will throw down. And this past season, dealing with COVID and then finding out that Jay is a long-hauler and the repercussion that comes from that -- the fact that he's hallucinating and dealing with this newfound reality that has been set upon him," he listed. "It's been a lot. I'm trying to keep track. I'm like, 'Wait, wait, what have I done?'"
Jay's storyline last season dealing with and navigating the complications and (some unknown) side effects of COVID-19 was one Nyambi was particularly proud of exploring because of the real-world implications and parallels.
"Being asked to take on such a monumental task, something that important to where we are currently -- we're still dealing with the repercussions of what COVID is doing, has done and continues to do to our world. I felt a great responsibility to do right by it, to make sure that it's not something that I took lightly, that it was something that we did the research," he elaborated. "I had conversations with people who have been through it. I also tried to honor my friends and family that I lost that were close to me."
"Anytime we were rolling those cameras, I made sure that I always had those people -- my aunt, a classmate, a company member, a close friend from my theater company -- [on my mind]. Having lost people from all aspects of my life in some way, I wanted them to be sure that I kept them close and honored them with every moment that I had this past season," Nyambi continued. "And, yeah, I also felt, as an artist feeling honored, that I could take on this monumental task. I mean, that takes a lot of trust because it's such an important, current thing we're speaking on. And you just don't give it to Johnny at the library, you know what I mean? So that was where I felt honored by [showrunners Robert and Michelle] King for them to put that assignment in front of me."
For the 42-year-old actor, season 5's early episodes were the most challenging to execute because it introduced Jay's COVID battle and showed that he's been having hallucinations as a result of being sick.
"Having conversations with the likes of Frederick Douglass, Jesus, Malcolm X, Karl Marx. And it's like, 'OK, what is this? How do I enter into this?' So I think entering the arena of accepting the fact that I am hallucinating, the launch in was very difficult," Nyambi recalled.
"You find out the history in terms of my time in the hospital, when I was struggling trying to survive COVID. I think, in order for me to play that, there had to be a sense of freedom to allow myself to just let go into that and just let it happen, let it be free," he added. "That had its own challenges. Once I was able to find that freedom in playing those given circumstances, the freedom, it's fun, liberating. As far as the cost, that probably was the most where it cost something for me. That was a lot of pain that was being released for that episode. A lot of pain connected to Jay and connected to, again, the people that I've lost and of the people that I know that are close to me who have lost people in their own way."
The Good Fight is gearing up for its sixth season with new cast member André Braugher, who joins as the brilliant Ri’Chard Lane, a powerhouse lawyer who is forced on Liz (Audra McDonald) as a new name partner. But the show also lost series regulars Cush Jumbo and Delroy Lindo early last season. Season 6 promises to address the changeover at the firm after losing Jumbo's Lucca Quinn and Lindo's Boseman.
"What's great is that everyone that they bring in is just incredible. I mean, top notch. That in and of itself is exciting. I've gotten close with Delroy and Cush and it hurts to see them leave. Rose Leslie, it hurts to see them leave, but it's always for the best because you're always thinking about the individual and what's best for them," he said. "You have the likes of André Braugher coming on in the next season. In the past Michael Sheen, [he] is just a lovely, lovely, amazing individual. This past season being able to work with Ben Vereen."
As for what's ahead in season 6, Nyambi remained tight-lipped.
"I'm still trying to learn what's happening for season 6," he admitted. "I know that there's going to be some surprise guests. That I can say. But as far as the journey, I can definitely guarantee it's going to be more of the unexpected."
Season 5 of The Good Fight is available on DVD on Tuesday, May 3.
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