Tony’s winner Sarah Jones stars as Yasmin, a mother and wife who have given up on their careers and are desperate to get something back for herself. Alexia Landeau (who has co-wrote several episodes and produced by executives) plays Ell, an unemployed single mother of three children from three different fathers.
Despite the character struggles, “On the Verge” is truly a comedy, and Delpy isn’t afraid to make jokes on serious topics like the stress endured by working mothers, toxic masculinity, or ageism. In one of the first scenes, Yasmin is interviewed by a woman half her age and told that she is, basically, too old. When Yasmin starts to panic and squeezes his chest, the young interviewer asks if she is having a heart attack.
The scene details an experience that will resonate with many women; Delpy gives the audience permission to laugh, even though he grinds his teeth.
“I’m 46, not 96! Yasmin replies.
It’s a comic, brain sensitivity has been honed throughout Delpy’s career. Her parents, Albert Delpy and Marie Pillet, were both actors (they played her parents on screen in Delpy’s 2007 feature film, “Deux jours à Paris”), and she grew up in France surrounded by artists, theater actors and writers. Her first big screen role came when Jean Luc Godard chose her in his 1985 film “Detective” when she was 14 years old. She then worked with Agnieszka Holland on the Golden Globe-winning film “Europa Europa” and with Krzysztof Kieslowski Trilogy “Three Colors”.
She spent much of her childhood behind the scenes at her parents’ experimental theater performances or dancing, making music and writing on her own; she later studied film at NYU. It is this mixture of experimentation and structure (Delpy is quick to point out that the series is meticulously scripted) that she brings to “On the Verge”.
“It’s sophistication erased by absurdity,” said Giovanni Ribisi, who plays Justine’s endearing but infuriating boss, speaking of Delpy’s sensitivity. “Julie made an impression with her own style. She is an artisan. She has personality. Like they did in the 1970s.