Frisky Q&A: The Old Spice Guy Gives Dating Advice

The Frisky: What do you like a woman to smell like?
Isaiah Mustafa: Butterflies and salt taffy.

The Frisky: What was it like working on the Old Spice commercial? We heard you filmed the commercial in one shot — and that it took something like 50 or 60 takes to get it right.

Isaiah Mustafa: Everything had to happen perfectly. There were so many technical aspects to it: The bathroom has to shoot up in the air, the shirt has to land right, the oyster has to open up, the horse has to stay in place. Not everything is going to go perfectly every single time, so we just had to keep going for it.

The Frisky: Did it get old saying the same lines over and over?

IM: Not at all. I knew them inside and out by take 50-something, or whatever magic number we got it. The longer we did it, the easier it got.

The Frisky: Did anything in particular inspire your performance?

IM: This is the only voice I tried. The first time I looked at the script, I just read it as an announcer. Then I thought about it, and I was like, No, I gotta be a little more suave, like that guy every man wants to be and every woman wants to be with. So I made my voice a lot deeper and threw it back. Not like a yuckster, not like certain radio or TV guys do, not like game show hosts, but just deeper and more masculine, like George Hamilton.

The Frisky: We hear you have a girlfriend. What does she think of your new popularity with the ladies?

IM: She loves it! Since the character is the guy every man wants to be and every woman wants to be with, she absolutely loves it because she gets to tell people, “That’s my man!” She’s like, “When I watch the commercial I don’t know what to do! I look at you in the ad telling me to look at my man, and then I look at my man and it’s you.” She’s all goofy about it.

The Frisky: Besides smelling good, what should a man should do to make the woman in his life happy?

IM: There are two things a man should learn how to do if he wants to please his lady. The first and most important thing is listen. And if you don’t know how to listen, learn how to pretend that you’re listening. One or the other. My girlfriend talks all the time, and I sit through and listen to everything. And sometimes she’ll go, “Wow, you bought me that, you heard me!” And I’m like, “Yeah, I heard you.”

The Frisky: What do you like a woman to smell like?
Isaiah Mustafa: Butterflies and salt taffy.

The Frisky: Can you help this reader who asked for advice, saying, “My relationship with my boyfriend has gotten a little stale lately, so I’d like to spice things up. Got any suggestions?”

IM: Believe it or not, the cheesy things work. Those are the kinds of things that men pay attention to, and I think women do, too. If you open a woman’s car door, that goes a long way. For men, it’s all visual and tangible; can we look at it, can we touch it? Lingerie does big things for me, and smells are amazing. You always remember someone’s smell, no matter what. You might not remember their name, but you’ll be like, Oh, that’s that girl who wore Michael Kors, or whatever it was. I would say make sure you look right and smell right. And high heels. Not trashy ones though. Nice, standard black high heels go a long way. And of course, they work with lingerie, too. Very simple and inexpensive.

The Frisky: Another reader wrote in with this: “My boyfriend has put on weight in the last few months and it’s starting to lessen my attraction to him. I love him so much — how can I encourage him, without hurting his feelings, to watch what he eats and start going to the gym?” What would you suggest she do?

IM: Yeah, she should put my commercial on and just stare at the picture of me. I’m kidding. I would say the best thing you can do is say something like, “Why don’t we go on walks every day” and then move the walks into jogs. And start making salads and pull back on pork chops and whatnot. Cut back on the starches, and take everything white out of the kitchen: no salt, no sugar, no flour. Just get rid of it!

The Frisky: Is that what you do to keep your six-pack?

IM: Me? I have to be fanatic about stuff like that, so yeah, I’m pretty good about my diet. I eat a lot of little meals throughout the day and make sure they’re well-rounded. Getting started is the tough thing, but once you get started, you’re fine. Once you’ve got the rhythm going, you’re good.

The Frisky: Is this commercial leading to other roles?

IM: It’s leading to a lot more opportunities, and it’s pilot season here in L.A. I’m just working on every audition so I can get in there and hopefully impress someone enough so they’ll give me a series.

The Frisky: Are you worried about being forever known as “The Old Spice Guy”?

IM: No, not at all. I don’t think Old Spice is going to be carrying on this character too much longer, and nowadays, you take what you can get and move into other things. The commercial is just one aspect of me as an actor; that’s just one character I can do.

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