Mehdi Ouazzani isn't the devil, but he has played one on TV—only he didn't realize that some thought he looked like President Obama while he was at it. A veteran Moroccan actor with decades of film experience, Ouazzani was bemused to wake up one morning and find that his role in the History Channel's popular five-part miniseries The Bible had become the latest way for conservative commentators in the United States to needle the president.
"One morning somebody called me and said 'you have to look at your email' and I was so surprised," Ouazzani told the AP in a recent interview. "For someone like me, a simple unknown actor, to find himself in a controversy like this—even though it's nonsense—it makes me known around the world, so it's something positive," he says with a chuckle. With gray hair pulled back in a ponytail, an expressive face, and a slim Errol Flynn-style pencil mustache, Ouazzani doesn't look a great deal like America's 44th president. It was only after an hour and a half of makeup and a heavy hooded robe that Ouazzani turned into the supposedly Obama-like version of Satan.