Last Days in the Desert — starring Ewan McGregor as both Jesus and Satan — comes to theatres this Friday, and there are more clips and interviews to watch and read.
Meanwhile, a few more interview pieces have popped up since the last update.
Writer-director Rodrigo Garcia talked to the Catholic News Service:
Garcia, of Colombian heritage, grew up in Mexico and Spain, and considered neither himself nor his parents religious, but “my mother went to Catholic schools and my father was always a big reader of the Bible, the Gospel. So we’re not religious, but we did love the Holy Book. And we did read it, and as child I read many versions of the story of Jesus and I was very much intrigued and fascinated by it.
“Even if you’re not a religious person, you can’t help but be awed by the mystery. The life of Jesus is certainly a very good entry into the mystery,” he continued. “Even not being particularly religious, I thought this was a story that interested me in its capacity as arguably the most famous son in the world, dual nature, both divine and human, a huge mission to undertake and potentially a huge sacrifice ahead of him.”
One element of the promotional aspect of “Last Days” Garcia took a shine to is, “unlike with other movies, it’s people talking about the movie themes. Not the star, not the anecdotes. For some reason this picture demanded that its themes be talked about. So that has made the press process much more enjoyable.”
He also spoke to Examiner.com:
Q: The Bible doesn’t say exactly what happened during Jesus’ 40 days in the desert, just that the devil tried to tempt him.
Garcia: Well, he was alone. So, if this was related by the gospels, then one has to assume that Jesus told someone about his time out there. Forty days is a lot. It’s almost the limit you can live. After 40 days of fasting, someone is on the verge of death. From a human, dramatic point of view, it was very interesting to me. . . .
Q: The Lucifer character almost seems like a jealous brother.
Garcia: There are really two things. First of all, that’s what Lucifer was. He was a favored angel and his pride and vanity fell him. So there’s that part of it. You can’t write pure evil anymore than you can write God. What is that like? So you have to give him human characteristics. And when you do that, there’s tension and humor. The more of a person he became, even if he’s always lying, which he cops to, and even if he’s trying to destabilize Jesus and be unnerving, ultimately things come out that I didn’t expect, like he’s lonely. No one talks to him. Little by little he became the bad brother, the fallen brother. By the time they say goodbye, it’s a little sad.
McGregor spoke to Collider about being his own co-star:
McGREGOR: It was easy because I worked with a guy I know very well, Nash Edgerton. He’s doubled me, as a stunt double, since 1999, not every time, but a lot of the time. He’s a filmmaker, a stunt coordinator and an actor. I’ve known Nash for years, and I really get on very well with him. We asked him to do the cliff drop and sequence in the movie. I suggested him to Rodrigo, and Rodrigo asked him to be in charge of our safety. And because he was there, I suddenly thought, maybe he could play opposite me. But, it’s a tall order because it’s a lot of dialogue to learn. Really, probably the most dialogue in the film is between the devil and Yeshua. So, he was learning all of this dialogue, and we worked on it every night, two or three hours a night, just on the lines. And then, we’d swap and do the other side. It was a lot of work to not be in the movie, at all. One day, I had this realization about it and I said, “I feel really guilty that I’m making you do all this work and no one is going to know.” And he said, “No, it’s perfect for me. I want to act to make me a better director. This is perfect. I get to experience the acting, and no one is ever going to see it.” So, it worked out to both of our credit, I guess.
McGregor also discussed this film and some of his earlier films with Yahoo! Movies.
Check out earlier trailers and other videos here:
- The first trailer (March 24, 2016)
- The ‘Premiere Events’ trailer (April 11, 2016)
- The three-minute featurette (April 26, 2016)
- The four-and-a-half-minute featurette (April 28, 2016)
- The ‘Give Me a Hand’ clip (May 2, 2016)
- The ‘What Are You Building?’ clip (May 4, 2016)
- The ‘Jesus and Satan arguing’ and ‘father and son arguing’ clips (May 9, 2016)