If you’re planning to catch Roman Polanski’s adaptation of Oliver Twist this weekend, bear in mind that the director drew inspiration from his own impoverished childhood in the scene where the title character receives a pair of shoes several sizes too large.

”I remember, after the [Second World] War, there was a period of incredible poverty [in Poland] — a lack of absolutely everything from food to clothing. And I managed to get some German shoes. But they were four or five sizes too big,” Polanski tells Entertainment Weekly’s Steve Daly in an exclusive magazine interview. ”And I also had a pair of overalls that I managed to [pull down] around my feet, since I didn’t have socks. I was 12. More or less the same age that Oliver is.”

Polanski also discusses his successful recent libel suit against Vanity Fair magazine, winning an Oscar for The Pianist while exiled in France, and the state of children’s films today in the issue of Entertainment Weekly hitting newsstands Friday.