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'You never know what's going to happen': Former Cuyahoga County commissioner stars with Tom Hanks in new film

In "A Man Called Otto," Peter Lawson Jones plays Reuben, the the long-estranged best friend to Hanks' character.

CLEVELAND — Peter Lawson Jones is a familiar name and face to those who know politics in Northeast Ohio.

Very soon, Lawson Jones may become a household name in Hollywood. 

The former Cuyahoga County commissioner and state representative is co-starring with two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks in the new movie "A Man Called Otto," which is now in theaters.

"As I was shooting scenes, I would be looking at Tom Hanks and thinking, 'this is Tom Hanks. How in the hell, Peter Lawson Jones, did you get in a film, let alone have scenes with him?'" Lawson Jones said.

Lawson Jones plays Reuben, the long-estranged best friend to Hanks' character, Otto. The movie goes through flashbacks as Lawson Jones plays Reuben at different stages of his life, something the 70-year-old former politician knows too well.

"You never know what's going to happen in life. You just have to keep the doors open," he added.

Peter Lawson Jones is opening doors for others as well. On Thursday evening, he will be part of a red carpet event for the film at Cinemark Valley View. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Charles & Margaret Jones Scholarship Fund at College Now Greater Cleveland. The foundation was started by Peter Lawson Jones' parents 25 years ago to help send area kids to college. 

The screening in Valley View will raise $30,000 for the foundation. Thursday's event will be hosted by 3News anchor and managing editor Russ Mitchell, who will moderate a Q & A session with Lawson Jones after the movie. You can find out more about attending the screening by clicking here.

"There will be 500 people at the event," Lawson Jones told 3News' Lydia Esparra. "We had to rent out four theaters." 

Meanwhile, the Harvard graduate and former politician plans to keep reinventing himself. He says, why not?

"Never give up on aspiring for more. Never give up on trying to fulfill your passions," Lawson Jones advises.

You can watch the trailer for "A Man Called Otto" below:


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