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December 20, 2017 interviews

Interview: Isaiah Mustafa Talks Old Spice, Yoga, Doing Epic Stuff, and The Male Standard

Isaiah Mustafa Old Spice Guy

Some will say “sudden fame” is impressive. Isaiah Mustafa became an instant success after making his debut in an Old Spice commercial portrayed as The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, capturing the hearts of millions of fans around the world in a matter of days. From being a walk-on athlete in college to getting a shot at the NFL, and from small acting roles to becoming a series regular with a main role on the supernatural drama television series Shadowhunters, there is nothing precipitous about Isaiah Mustafa’s rise to stardom. Isaiah has persevered and navigated life like the legendary products he promotes. It doesn’t get impressively greater than being able to say, “I’m the Old Spice guy.” When you’re one of the main men for Old Spice and famously known as the guy sitting on horseback that men worldwide want to smell like, wearing a disarming smile and having a voice so smooth that women and men are compelled to ask, “Who is that guy?” we would say that’s beyond impressive – that’s epic!

Mankind Unplugged is all about guy stuff from a girl’s view, but we wouldn’t be able to offer such great manly advice if it wasn’t for the cool men we talk to. I recently sat down with Isaiah and Victor Macias from to discuss a few things including how to improve your “man smell.” Victor and I talked with Isaiah about wedding planning advice for men, what impresses him, and why he loves hot yoga of all things. Isaiah also let us in on his morning routine and shared his favorite Old Spice product. Below is a portion of our conversation with the ultimate manly man, Isaiah Mustafa.

The Interview

[This interview was edited for clarity]

Victor: I want to know how the wedding planning is going on.

Isaiah: Oh, wow! Okay. Wedding plans. Well, it’s going well. I can say, my advice to all men who are getting married is to dive in a hundred percent. If you’re gonna get married, then you need a wedding plan together ’cause it’s both of your day. It’s her day–don’t get me wrong–but you’re there together. You’re doing it together, you’re in it together, so you should be planning it together.

Victor: Makes sense. When I proposed to my now wife, I was like “Babe, It’s your day; whatever you want.” But she was like, “No, I want your feedback.”

Isaiah: Yeah. It’s gonna be a better time if both of you go in together.

Old Spice Socks

Tam: Obviously, the drone proposal was pretty epic, and even working with Old Spice is epic. You’ve done a lot of amazing stuff. What has been the most epic thing? 

Isaiah: Let’s see. Hmmm. The drone proposal was pretty cool, and it did help out that I did lend my Old Spice voice to that. One of the most epic things I’ve done for Old Spice—I traveled over to Europe. Oh, no. Take that back–Topps Baseball Cards came out with the baseball card series of celebrities who have thrown a first pitch, and Old Spice figured out a way to get me in Cincinnati, The Reds, into their baseball park, and I threw out the first pitch for The Reds. That’s probably, honestly, the most amazing thing that’s happened as a result of being with Old Spice or being a celebrity because that, like, for a kid, that’s what you wanna do. You want to throw the first pitch out. Presidents do that, so for me to do that AND it’s on a baseball card, it’s super cool. It’s really cool.

Tam: What impresses you? You threw out the first pitch. You’ve done a lot of stuff. You have a baseball card. What would impress you?

Isaiah: Anyone who is good at grooming, that’s pretty impressive–grooming and just staying fresh. It’s not easy as a guy to, like, get a good routine, you know. No one really teaches you how to get a good routine, so anybody who kind of blend to that is awesome. I learned a good routine from Terry [Crews], so… 

Victor: What’s your morning routine? 

Isaiah: My routine is to shower first and foremost; the two-in-one is easy. But with the hair products, he [Terry Crews] didn’t help me with the hair products.

Tam: [laughs] clearly.

Isaiah: Yeah. Right. With the hair products, it makes everything so easy, like the styling and everything and I’ve never used hair products before. I got hair for the show [Shawdowhunters] that I am on, but now that I have hair, I was like, “Awesome.” I get to use it.

Old Spice Hawkridge Body Wash

Tam: What’s your favorite Old Spice product?

Isaiah: It’s called Hawkridge Body Wash. It’s pretty good. Most of the products are fresh smelling. They’re fresh smelling and some of them are more athletic-smelling, but the Hawkridge, whenever I wear it…I can wear it at night and people are like, “Oh my God! You smell good! What is that?” I’m like, “Oh! It’s my body wash.”[Laughs]

Victor: So, we talked about epic things and you just have so much going on. When it comes to the holiday zone, how do you make it work?

Isaiah:  Yeah, you’ve  just got to schedule it, you know. You’ve got to have a good schedule, a good calendar, I guess. But what I like to do is, I start on a Sunday and then I kind of map out the week. I start on a Sunday and go, “what do I have during the week” and I’ll put it all down then kind of, just, slot in. But it gets tricky when you have a lot of stuff going on ’cause stuff happens every day, so you have to rearrange. Every now and then you have to adjust or rearrange, but I also take that minute to calm down and everything. I try to do Yoga every day, so, yeah, that helps a lot.

Tam: What would people be surprised to know about you?

Isaiah: Hmmm, let’s see. Probably that I do Yoga every day. I don’t think that’s out there. I started doing it about four months ago, and out of the four months, I can probably count how many times I’ve not gone to Yoga on two hands. 

Tam: What type of Yoga do you do? 

Isaiah: I do Hot. I do Bikram. I do Vinyasa flow. I do anything that’s available at the time that I can do it.

Tam:   I think that’s a football thing cause I know a couple of ex-football players that do Hot Yoga.

Isaiah: Yeah. Well, most athletes should do it because it’s just a great way of opening up the joints–and the stretch. So most athletes, if they want to keep their bodies right as they get older, they should try it. I suggest they try.

Old Spice Products 3

Victor: Besides the physical side of it, would you say a big part of it is almost like meditation?

Isaiah: Oh yeah. Definitely. It calms you down. When you have a lot of stuff going on, it’s really good for you to kind of decompress. Yeah, it’s awesome. Or let’s say you’re like, “Oh man. I ate so much sugar the other day.” You do a Hot Yoga class, sweat it out, and get it out of there. It’s going to clear you out, get some toxins out, so it’s great. You don’t have to be perfect at it either; that’s the best thing about it. You just go for you.

Victor: Okay. What is your male standard? At times when things are stressful and you gotta keep pushing forward, a creed or something you live by, something you believe to help you keep going forward.

Isaiah: I practice transcendental meditation and I would start TM [transcendental meditation] and then, I mean, the Yoga it’s also. With those two, it keeps you focused; you’re not gonna get a fall off, you know. You’re pretty grounded.

Victor: It gives you that clarity.

Isaiah: Yeah. Totally. Very much so. You stay even till you are able to absorb and accept.

Disclaimer: Mankind Unplugged was invited as guests of Old Spice. #sponsoredobviously


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