HANGIN' WITH HANKS: A MAN CALLED OTTO
PLJ is still riding the wave from his work in a major supporting role on the Tom Hanks film, A Man Called Otto. AMCO, based on Fredrik Backman’s best-selling Swedish novel and the Oscar-nominated adaptation, A Man Called Ove, has raked in over $113 million since its theatrical release and remains one of the most popular offerings on Netflix. Don't be the last one in your neighborhood to see it!
THE PHOENIX SOCIETY WORLD PREMIERE
Peter's latest drama, The Phoenix Society, enjoyed its world premiere May, 2022, at Playwrights Local in Cleveland, Ohio. Will Coulter, the play's protagonist, is a widower with a teenage daughter who returns from the war in Afghanistan with a debilitating case of PTSD and depression as well as with a drug addiction, the severity of which he denies. He struggles to get and stay clean. Can a group of men and women - who, themselves, are battling mental health and substance abuse challenges - save him? TPS was commissioned by the Life Exchange Center, a nonprofit agency whose mission is to assist those who are in recovery from substance abuse and/or mental health disorders.
PLJ IS EN FUEGO!
I don't know how you bid good riddance to 2020 ("The Year of COVID") and ushered in 2021, but Peter kicked off the latter as a guest star on an episode of NBC's long-running, hit drama, Chicago Fire. His character's story provides the pathos and is a focal point of the episode. Peter found it a particular privilege to have worked with Eamonn Walker (Chief Wallace Boden) as his primary scene partner and to have been directed by Matt Earl Beesley. You can still watch the episode on Hulu, Peacock, Amazon Prime, Spectrum On Demand and other streaming platforms.
THE NEW MARATHON MAN
If you have seen a Marathon Oil commercial that features a dapper gentleman tooling down a country road in a classic 1963 red convertible with a beautiful woman by his side, it’s PLJ. Shot in Ashland, Ohio, the commercial is still airing after nearly three years. Oh, and the woman next to Peter in the car is none other than his wife, Lisa! Watch the commercial below.
BREAKING BAD: ONE DEGREE OF SEPARATION
If you didn’t have the chance to appear in the immensely popular Emmy Award-winning series, Breaking Bad, then you should, at the very least, take advantage of the opportunity to perform with one of the show’s stars in another project. Peter did just that. Listen for him as attorney Paul Elliott on Voyage Media's Mahalo With A Bullet. The narrative podcast, adapted from Pigeon Blood Red - a novel by retired Cleveland-area attorney, Ed Duncan - stars Dean Norris, the rightly suspicious detective brother-in-law of Bryan Cranston, the twisted protagonist of the Breaking Bad series. You can also hear Peter on six other Voyage Media podcasts on this website.
ART AS ADVOCACY
Having served for nearly a quarter century as an elected official, Peter is always excited when the opportunity presents itself to marry his art and advocacy efforts. You may have seen him recently on Cleveland television in a public service announcement sponsored by a local nonprofit, Stop the Pain. The PSA offers a visually and thematically stunning anti-gun violence commentary which Peter conceived, penned and performed. Peter also appears in a video and can be heard on a CD (Fried Potatoes and Onions) produced by the Cleveland Treatment Center, which for decades has provided vital support and counseling for those battling substance abuse. In the video, he portrays “King Heroin,” in a novel and cinematic re-envisioning of James Brown’s classic 1972 jazz/R&B poem. In addition to "King Heroin," Peter performs a spoken word intro to a rendition of Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes's “Wake Up Everybody.” Finally, as a practicing attorney who strongly believes in everyone’s right to affordable legal counsel, Peter was proud to narrate The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland’s most recent agency video. Please click on the links below to view these three powerful messages.
ON DECK FOR 2024
Next year promises to be a busy one for Peter on both stage and set. He will be playing the lead in the North American premiere at Cleveland Public Theatre of Israeli playwright Hanoch Levin's Requiem. The play, a haunting meditation on life and mortality - liberally sprinkled with more than a few hilariously ribald characters and bawdy moments - runs from March 14th through April 6th. Please click on the link below for more information about the production.
Next spring, PLJ will be playing the lead in The Last Shop on Walnut, an indie feature that will be shot in Cleveland, Ohio, and will also have a leading role in a second indie feature, Elizabeth, to be filmed in Atlantic City. In the former, he will portray an agoraphobic and isolated lamp store owner and in the latter a jazz musician attempting to reconcile with his son. Also, stay tuned for the release of the short film, So Help Me God, in which he plays an emergency room doctor.
Finally, Peter's first recording in which he sings will be released next year on an upcoming Cleveland Treatment Center Let It Ride - Game Ready 4 Life album. On the CD, he offers his rendition of Johnny Cash's hit song, Hurt.
Crshd, a delightfully upbeat comedy about the romantic hijinks – “romANTICS” – of three college coeds in which Peter plays an astronomy professor, is now available on various platforms. Crshd has been exhibited at the Tribeca, Maui, Munich International, Women Texas, Toronto International Next Wave and Oxford film festivals.
STREAMING SOMEWHERE OR AT REDBOX
If you weren’t able to catch Peter in the initial runs of White Boy Rick, Assassin’s Code or Starve, you can find the films on one or more of the various streaming services or at Redbox. Tell the truth; you can never get too much of PLJ on screen!