Q&A: Old Spice Icon Isaiah Mustafa

Whether he’s on a boat or a horse, one thing is certain: The Old Spice guy is on a roll.

Isaiah Mustafa reveals exclusively to The Hollywood Reporter that he will appear in Warner Bros.’ Horrible Bosses, starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman.

And in addition to a role in Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, the former NFL player is filming a guest spot on NBC’s action-comedy Chuck.

All this comes on the heels of Nielsen data citing that sales of Old Spice body products are up a monumental 107 percent in the past month as a result of his Emmy-nominated spots, and the Old Spice YouTube channels have been viewed more than 58 million times.

The Hollywood Reporter: What has this roller-coaster year been like?
Isaiah Mustafa: It’s a dream come true. It was a couple of lucky occurrences that had to happen for me to get the commercial. I missed the first audition but made the second one they scheduled because they hadn’t found anyone. They said they were going to book me, but I didn’t get the call. I said “Forget it” and put it out of my head. Then they called after Christmas. I think about it all, and it wows me.

What can you share about your role in Horrible Bosses?
It’s a smaller role, but who wouldn’t want to be in one of these funny, irreverent comedies? The cast is great. I’m playing a cop because I play these authoritative characters well. I don’t know exactly who I’m in the scene with — maybe Jennifer Aniston!

You also landed a talent agreement last month with NBC. What does that mean, and what shows are you filming?
It means I’m exclusively working with NBC unless they approve other projects. I’m going to be filming an episode of Chuck next week. I don’t know how many episodes yet, but I do know I’m playing an official CIA guy (named Greta). The character is pretty goofy, so it’s going to be fun.

What NBC shows do you hope to film guest spots on or even join?
Chuck was my top choice. SNL would be a dream. It was one of the first television shows my mom let me stay up to watch. I was in love with Mr. Bill.

Will you be continuing your partnership with Old Spice?
As far as commercials, I don’t think there are any more lined up. They could always change their mind and want more. I signed on to be their spokesperson for a year, so I still have a few months left.

In the commercials, you appear to be quite the ladies man, but you have been dating dancer Brandi Oglesby. So, does art not imitate life?
No, I’m not one of those guys. If a woman is into me, it usually takes me awhile to figure that out. She has to hit me over the head with it.

Do you follow a special diet or workout to keep yourself in shape?
I’ve been doing Tony Horton’s DVD sets for three years. Right now, I’m vegan cleansing: no processed sugar, no caffeine, no alcohol, no animal products and no gluten. I never knew what gluten was before. Now I know exactly what it is, and it’s everything I want!

Be honest, do you compare yourself to the Situation?
No, please. The Situation is the best thing in the world. Who names himself the Situation? If only the Old Spice Guy would have thought of that one. How outrageous is it? I do not take myself seriously like that — not in the least bit — that would be so pretentious.

See also:
“How Old Spice Ruled the Real-Time Web”