He looks so hot and smells so cool – in the shower, on a boat and atop a horse in the Old Spice commercial that’s been mesmerizing audiences all through the Winter Olympics. Now, thanks to the TV spot’s immense popularity, “the man your man could smell like,” actor Isaiah Mustafa, is riding high in real life, too.
Since the commercial first launched on YouTube Feb. 4, views have skyrocketed to nearly 2.9 million. Mustafa, 36, also appears in a smoking jacket in another deliciously cheesy spot on the Old Spice Web site, declaring that women “should smell like butterflies and salt water taffy” and men like “jet fighters and punching.”
Since the commercial first aired, job opportunities have followed, Mustafa told the Los Angeles Times in a revealing profile.
Despite his sharply scripted monologue, the smug, over-the-top attitude of Mustafa’s character wasn’t planned. The day before the shoot, Mustafa called to chat with a pal from his days at Arizona State University, Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer. When Plummer didn’t answer, Mustafa decided to leave a rehearsal of the commercial’s script on his friend’s answering machine.
“I just did it for him, and I did it extra big, and then when I hung up, I thought, ‘Maybe I should try it that way and see if they like it,’ ” Mustafa told the Times.
The ad honchos did like it – and so did audiences. The commercial, which takes Mustafa from the shower to a boat to a horse on the beach all in one shot (fans can also watch the making of the video), could be the big break for Mustafa, who’s previously played a bailiff on Ugly Betty, a cop on Days of Our Lives and, most recently, a small role on ABC’s Castle.
Here’s what else you need to know about this on-the-rise actor (be forewarned): He’s not available. He has a dancer girlfriend – “professional, not pole,” Mustafa is quick to clarify. He also played receiver for the Seattle Seahawks and in NFL Europe, and he used to run a Ventura, Calif., barbecue restaurant with his mother, who’s still there.
And while he may be an expert at dropping the towel, it appears Mustafa is also adept at keeping his newfound fame in check. As he recently Tweeted: “Raised in a house of women. I’ll get backhanded if I even attempted to get bigheaded.”