Shadowhunters star Isaiah Mustafa's journey from NFL to the screen to being 'The Man Your Man Could Smell Like' is remarkable
Mustafa is clearly a storehouse of talent, having played in 5 football teams, acted in some of the most popular shows of our times, and his signature Old Spice ads. Ring a bell?
To the young Gen Z crowd, he might be known as the famous Luke Garroway on Freeform's extremely popular fantasy series, 'Shadowhunters.' But to the rest of us, Isaiah Mustafa will forever be the hunk from the Old Spice commercials, aka 'The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.'
Yet that doesn't cover the full grasp of Mustafa, who was known for his career in football as a wide receiver before he gifted the world with his brilliant portrayal of Luke on the show based on Cassandra Clare's best-selling young adult novel series, 'The Mortal Instruments'.
With all these accolades to brag about, a look into his past shows the tragedy Mustafa had had to face at a very young age. Born into a family of seven children, Mustafa's life took a pivotal turn when his father fell asleep at the wheel of a limousine and died from the crash.
Things, however, turned around when Mustafa was enrolled at Santa Clara High School in California, as his passion for sports was ignited. He ran track and played basketball as a student there, and things took off once he transferred to Moorpark College. He tried for the football team there, hoping to acquire an athletic scholarship and soon became a free safety, and eventually, a wide receiver.
Fast forward to him studying History at Arizona State University in 1995, and Mustafa was finally playing as a wide receiver for the Arizona State Sun Devils. Two years later, he became a professional player and signed with his first team, the ‘Tennessee Oilers’.
What followed were several other solid stints at several, remarkable clubs in the U.S., such as the ‘Barcelona Dragons,’ the ‘Oakland Raiders,’ and also the ‘Cleveland Browns. But that career came to an abrupt end in 2000 when he joined his final team and played for the ‘Seattle Seahawks.'
Right after quitting the Seahawks, Mustafa went on to pursue his currently established career in acting, and started off right away with some big television series, like 'Ugly Betty' and 'Days of Our Lives'. In 2010, he even signed an NBC talent deal and landed a supporting role in the comedy film 'Horrible Bosses.'
And, while he was juggling his acting duties and appearing as host for the TBS special 'Funniest Commercials of the Year' in both 2010 and 2011, Mustafa also became an iconic face on the commercial front with his signature Old Spice ad.
It wasn't a one-time shot at fame though because the wide popularity the advertisement amassed, spurred the company to churn out several sequel ads starring Mustafa - sometimes even accompanied by other familiar faces in the industry. And starting off with the very first commercial as 'The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,' Mustafa appeared in one of those for the last time alongside Terry Crews in 2015.
But Old Spice in new ads wasn't the only thing Mustafa had been up to all this while. Right back in 2011, when he was already the face of the aftershave commercials, Mustafa also bagged some heavy guest roles in some of the biggest series of our times.
He appeared in ABC's action drama series 'Charlie's Angels,' and the next year, he was seen in The CW's spy drama series 'Nikita.' In 2013, Mustafa was seen in a commercial for the Israeli beer Maccabee, and the following year he was in the pilot episode of the USA Network comedy series 'Sirens.'
Still, the best was yet to come for the man with a million talents, as in May 2015, it was announced Mustafa would star in the fantasy series 'Shadowhunters.' His character on the show is a werewolf and there's no doubt Mustafa was the best Luke, fans could have ever witnessed on screen.
Why? Because the 44-year-old is just as obsessed with the full moon in real life, as his supernatural character on 'Shadowhunters'. And, just when you think his achievements in the field of sports and entertainment meant covering it all, here's another bit of information on the man whose list of skills seem to be never-ending.
You'd think the former NFL player wouldn't have time to indulge in other things, but in 2011 Mustafa put another feather to his hat by lending his voice for COG Gear in that year's installment of the video game, ‘Gears of War 3’.
Speaking about his action-packed interests, there's no overlooking his love for comics - something that helped him earn a whopping $47,000 on 'The Weakest Link,' back in 2000, for guessing the first name of Dr. Frankenstein right.
This is worth a mention because, at the time, Mustafa's restaurant called Jo Jo’s Barbecue in Los Angeles had just closed, and winning the game show money helped him pursue his post-restauranteur dream of establishing an acting career.
But in this journey from being an avid comic book enthusiast, to our beloved on-screen werewolf on 'Shadowhunters,' somehow Mustafa has still managed to be a people's person with a crazy obsession for hockey. Seriously, he adores the Los Angeles Kings and even has a hockey rink built into his home's garage.
So, at 44, being a father to the beautiful Haley Mustafa, who is in her late teens now, and married to Lisa Mitchell, whom he dated for two years before tying the knot in early 2018, you'd think Isaiah Mustafa has done it all and seen it all.
Yet his fans definitely have more to see of him because while 'Shadowhunters' was canceled abruptly after three long years, Mustafa is soon to appear on the sequel of the 'It' movie as the adult Mike Hanlon. Oh, and one other extremely noteworthy thing about him. His two Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Buck and Lexi, whose faces can be frequently seen on the actor's Instagram page.