In 2011 in Kokkola city theatre, director Juho Kuosmanen saw a play about Olli Mäki, who was also in the audience that night. After the play, the theatre director Jarkko Lahti posed together with Mäki for a picture. Kuosmanen said to Lahti that if he directed a film about Mäki, Lahti could play the leading role. Lahti took that as a promise and began training boxing. He even took a few official amateur bouts (which he lost) and thus it became obvious that he really would play Olli Mäki in this film.
Early test footage shot in color did not capture the time period. By choosing to use 16mm B&W the film-makers were able to give recently renovated locations a vintage look. The lack of color hid modern details.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
the last lines of the film, spoken by the star Olli's girlfriend, Reija, are delivered just after a couple, hand in hand passes them (anonymously: only their backs to screen), when she looks wistfully back to ask her then boyfriend, Olli (hero of the film): "Do you think we'll be like them?", who looks back and says "You mean old?"; "Yes" she replies - "and happy?" After a beat, Olli replies "Of course we will": the couple are listed in the credits as (real life) Reija and Olli. [English subtitle translations of the original Finnish.]