Q&A with Isaiah Mustafa

Hello ladies, how are you? Fantastic.

Did you know that somewhere there is a man who walks on water and holds two tickets to that thing you love, all while wrestling giant octopi in the Baltic Sea? Oh, and was it mentioned he’s also on a horse?

This man is ASU alumni and former NFL football player Isaiah Mustafa.

He is also known as “the man your man could smell like” from his spokesman role in the recently viral Old Spice advertisement campaign “smell like a man, man.”

Mustafa spoke to The State Press about his transition from an ASU athlete to an award-winning actor.

Would you repeat any moment you had at ASU?

Isaiah Mustafa: Yeah, I’d repeat a couple fun moments I had. I think I’d probably repeat my first three months on campus. I’d do it over; I’d figure it out. I locked up with a girlfriend and I should’ve been single.

SP: Was the experience of going from a student to a working member of society difficult?

IM: As a football player it’s a little different. You have your own scholarship, it’s like you’re working already. There are certain things you have to do and it’s almost like you’re punching the clock as a student athlete. So there wasn’t that much of a shift. But I can see it be a more difficult or a little easier for students that aren’t in sports.

Easier just being that they’ve already been working, they’ve already been doing these things to kind of help themselves go through college, a little more difficult because maybe they’re not. Maybe they are the kind of student who have had parents helping them out all along and all of a sudden they’re just thrust out into society and they’re like, “Whoa, what’s all this about?” But I would just say, again, take it all in [and] have a good time.

SP: What do you think about the direction the ASU football team is headed in?

IM: It seems to me that ASU always has [an] amazing coach and amazing players, but for whatever reason we just seem to fall short one or two games during the season, which stinks. I don’t know what the problem is, but it seems to be the history with ASU. I just don’t know what it is; I don’t get it.  It’s like a mystery; no one knows why these things seem to happen. Even when I played, we did everything right but we lost in the last 17 seconds or 23 seconds.

SP: Is there any message you want to deliver to the current generation of Sun Devils?

IM: Yes, bring back the old Tempe [and] start having fun again. Last time I was at Tempe it seemed really, really corporate. I just remember ASU has always been known as just a great college in a great college town.

I think in the past years it’s kind of gotten a little more built up, more city, more metropolitan-like. I think some of the students don’t have as much fun as they used to. That’s the matter of going out and having a good time, but doing it safely, do it responsibly. But all the frats and everything, they need to go out and start having more fun, and enjoying each other. Just enjoy that time; it’s a quick four years, but it’s a lifetime you remember forever.

SP: Do you have any advice for aspiring ASU athletes, actors or actresses?

IM: I would say this, if you’re an ASU athlete, and you want to be an actor, I wouldn’t say you’re going to have to pick one or the other, but it’s going to be a little bit harder because I know football takes 100 percent of your time and so does acting so it’s just tough. But if you’re just an actor and you want to get into whatever, just continue doing it. It may seem like it’s taking forever, but one day it all comes together.

SP: Is there anything you would like to add?

IM: I’m a Sun Devil through and through. I love ASU, and anytime I can help ASU I will.

To hear more of the interview The State Press had with Isaiah Mustafa about his role as “the man your man can smell like,” listen to “State Press Weekly” at statepress.com.

Reach the reporter at tdmcknig@asu.edu


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