Out today in UK cinemas is the perfect antidote to the comic book movie juggernaut currently breaking box office records like contract-expired cast members. Lean on Pete is Andrew Haigh’s fourth feature film as director. It follows his recent sterling successes with acclaimed dramas Weekend and 45 Years and continues to share similar themes of loneliness and becoming.

We sat down with the director to talk about the threads which link his films, and though very different he explains the process for immersing himself in a story. He also covers the adaptation process and how his take on the character of Charley brought out a non-traditional coming of age story. There is a great subversion of expectations of a film like this, and Haigh talks about why this element was so crucial to how the film turned out.

Lean on Pete is released on May 4th.


Charley, a teen living with his single father, finds work caring for an ageing racehorse named Lean On Pete. When he learns Pete is bound for slaughter, the two embark on an odyssey across the new American frontier in search of a place to call home.