Perhaps in his most challenging role to date, Ewan McGregor is playing the role of both Jesus and the Devil in Rodrigo Garcia's Last Days in the Desert. Despite possible backlash from some sectors who may not welcome his interpretation of the religious icon, the actor remains confident of his portrayal of Yeshua, the Son of God whose faith is tested by the devil himself.
In an interview with Yahoo News, McGregor, who is well known for playing Obe Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars franchise, said that he tried to make sure that he interpreted Jesus in a manner that did not deviate from the general characteristics of Jesus as Christians know him.
"I can't imagine any issue with it, because there's never a moment that he's uncertain of his faith. I played him as the son of God and a man who is in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights to meditate on his path, the path ahead of him, which is to go out and preach and dedicate his life, ultimately and completely, to spreading the word of God, his father," he said.
For his portrayal of a dual role, the Scottish born actor credited Nash Edgerton for doing the scenes with him and said that he had a far more difficult time with playing the devil because of his more complex range of emotions.
Ultimately, McGregor said that the audience reception to the film will be dependent on their interpretation, especially on the aspect of the devil's strategies to get Jesus to waver.
Last Days in the Desert tells the story of the Temptation of Christ while he fasted and prayed for 40 days and 40 nights at the Judaean Desert and battled with the temptations presented to him by Satan to keep him from sacrificing himself for mankind's salvation.
His portrayal has earned the movie a lot of positive feedback from critics who viewed the film at the Sundance Film Festival.
According to The Hollywood Reporter review: "Although he's technically 10 years too old for the part, McGregor (the latest in a line of cinematic blue-eyed Jesuses) impressively handles the role of this solitary seeker; he's entirely credible as a man who's grave, searching and a tad bewildered at not having found the help he expected, but he's neither overbearingly brooding nor excessively humble. He's still looking for the answers."