The Full Story: Mustafa, whose good looks border on Greek-god status, became an instant phenomenon after he starred in an amusing commercial for Old Spice that capitalized both on his sculpted body and gorgeous visage, as well as a deft comic touch that played off his character's outlandish self-confidence and narcissism. According to an interview on CBS's "The Early Show," during which he was introduced as "a hunk," Mustafa turned from a lackluster NFL playing career to fulfill his dream of acting, and he was called to audition for the ad. On a callback, he used his now-famous Adam West voice, and, with a tongue-in-cheek pitch, he cinched the deal. Oprah Winfrey said, "That commercial has women everywhere wishing their guys looked and smelled like this." In her introduction to Mustafa on her show, Ellen DeGeneres said, "Every man in the world wants to smell like our next guest." The Wieden + Kennedy ad agency designed the campaign and made full use of social networking, downloading the ad on YouTube a few days before its Super Bowl premiere. To date, the spot has had more than 24 million views.
What's Happened Since? More ads featuring Mustafa as the new Old Spice man followed, and adding to the wave of YouTube response, the Wieden agency videoed Mustafa in his Old Spice shower set answering questions from Twitter and Facebook, and posted the results on the Net within minutes. Old Spice product sales are up. The Super Bowl ad won an Emmy in the Best Commercial category, and Mustafa was chosen to host TBS's special "Funniest Commercials of the Year: 2010." Media hype has catapulted Mustafa's career. The actor has signed a deal with NBC and has film parts in "Horrible Bosses" starring Jennifer Aniston and Tyler Perry's "Madea's Big Happy Family."
In His Own Words: In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mustafa was asked what the year has been like. His answer: "It's a dream come true. ... I think about it all, and it wows me." And in one of his recent Twitter messages, he wrote, "I'm so thankful for this past year. Couldn't have done it w/out everyone. Happy Thanksgiving my friends!! I love you, Internet."
Video: More Isaiah Mustafa Old Spice commercials
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