Monaghan was instantly drawn to the role of free-spirited truck driver Diane Ford, who is forced to reconnect with her 11-year-old son when his father becomes ill. "I was so shocked this was written by a man, that a man could tap into a female and have her play what is sort of a stereotypically man's role, professionally and personally, but also make her feminine," Monaghan says. "She's not a victim, which was a huge thing for me."
The film was shot on a budget of $1.5 million over the course of 19 days, with little time for rehearsal. But Monaghan made time to rehearse a pivotal scene with Jimmy Bennett, the young actor playing her son. "He's amazing; his résumé is longer than mine," she says with a laugh. "I never thought of him as a kid. I thought of him as one of the best actors I've worked with." She also took the time to go on rides with female drivers and attend truck-driving school. Anytime Diane is seen trucking onscreen, Monaghan is doing the driving. "If I can do it, anybody can do it," the actor notes. "I still have yet to learn how to drive a five-speed. It's pathetic."
And while the rave reviews are a nice bonus, Monaghan has been proud of her passion project from the beginning. "There's a particular point in the script where you could be very sentimental or melodramatic, and it was really refreshing to see a writer-director not go there," she says. "I was really inspired from the moment I read it."