The beloved novel Lean On Pete by Willy Vlautinis a story of a kid that refuses to lose hope or heart, despite the harsh realities of his world. I found it immensely moving, tender and yet never sentimental. I wanted the film to have the same sense of purity. I wanted the film to look at life on the margins of society with honesty and respect. There was a quote by John Steinbeck that Willy used at the start of his novel: “It is true that we are weak and sick and ugly and quarrelsome, but if that is all we ever were, we would millenniums ago have disappeared from the face of the earth.” I tried to keep that sentiment close to my heart throughout the making of this film.