Ewan McGregor is both Jesus and the Devil in the upcoming dramatic movie Last Days in the Desert from writer/director Rodrigo Garcia (Albert Nobbs). Broad Green Pictures has released a new trailer for the film which imagines Jesus’s 40 days of fasting and praying in the desert. McGregor’s joined in the cast by Tye Sheridan, Ciaran Hinds, and Ayelet Zurer, with Last Days heading to theaters on May 13, 2016.
Discussing the film, which made its debut at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, Garcia said, “I’m taking the figure of Jesus and exploring the human dimension of his life. I cannot know what the divine side feels like, so I decided to treat Jesus, his predicaments, and his problems the same way I would treat a regular person.”
McGregor lost a substantial amount of weight to play Jesus but found it was more difficult to figure out the “interior life” of the religious figure than drop the pounds. “It’s quite a worry to play Jesus,” said McGregor. “I read a lot of books about Him, because I wanted to understand who he really was as a man. But most of the books just tried to disprove the Gospel version of Jesus in one way or another, and they weren’t helpful in terms of character.”
“I realized I really just had to play this guy that Rodrigo named Yeshua, who’s walking in the desert for 40 days and nights, trying to reconcile the mission his Father has for him. He knows that God wants him to go back into Jerusalem, start to preach and ultimately, die for humanity. Once I started thinking in terms of a man dealing with his father’s plans for him, it became less frightening.”
The Plot: On his way out of the wilderness, after weeks of subsisting on only water and prayer, a holy man (McGregor) struggles with the Devil (also McGregor) over the fate of an ordinary family in crisis, setting for himself a dramatic test with distinctly human conflicts.