Season 2 episode 17
“Don’t haul steel, steel is hard,” says Sonny with one load of steel on the rig and another waiting to be picked up further up the road.
If Sonny thinks steel is trouble, pretty, perky, redheaded female truck drivers are worse. Oh, it’s not Marge’s fault. It’s that crooked steel mill boss that has all the local drivers eating out of his hand while he steels them blind. Sonny tries to be nice to the lady. The boss takes exception, and Will winds up in the hospital.
In addition to an un-credited role by a very young Samuel L. Jackson, the episode features an understated discussion of feminism, as Sonny declares while wrangling a stew, “If ladies can drive trucks, and still be ladies, then truck drivers can cook and still be guys… know what I mean?”
In the end, Marge knows exactly what Sonny means – and the boss gets to see Sonny’s non-cooking way of handling business.
It’s the second season of Movin’ On and we’re filming in the South. Being a fan of Southern country cooking, I decided to go south for the second season. We were feeling our oats and wanted to explore the South in year two. Our plan was to cross the Rockies in year three. Regrettably, there was no year three.
Anyway, we had assembled an incredible production team and they were able to execute just about anything we threw at them from the home office at the MGM Studios in LA. Our location people never failed to come up with extraordinary locations that allowed us pretty much free rein to shoot wherever and whenever we needed. “Woman Of Steel” was typical case, as our locations people found us a great, photogenic steel mill.
Once we saw the “Woman of Steel” script, which called for a feisty, woman trucker, our casting director, Gary Shaffer, suggested Penny Fuller. Penny had done many guest starring roles and the thought of the lovely, very talented, redhead playing a trucker tickled producer, Ernie Frankel, director Larry Dobkin, and me. Penny is a lil’ bit of thing, so putting her behind the wheel of a big rig would be great casting.
We had our guest star and the other roles seemed to fall into line. Our normal method was to do the “star casting” in LA and have the director oversee secondary casting on location. The 1st A.D.’s set up casting calls and we were lucky to have many choices for the smaller roles. Well, on “Woman of Steel” there were many secondary roles and director Dobkin called in to assure me that I would be pleased with the people he cast. Larry was a fine actor and had directed other episodes of Movin’ On, so I agreed, “OK, Larry, go for it”.
For the tiny role of a police patrolman who stops Sonny and Will on the road Dobkin suggested a young, tenacious kid that came into the location office and knocked him out with a great script reading. “Go ahead, Larry, cast him…. if you insist.” Larry did, and that young kid was Samuel L. Jackson, current star of Hateful Eight as well as Pulp Fiction, Die Hard… and the list goes on. This experience – once again, demonstrated the good fortune of having a great and finely tuned team assembled.