Henry Cavill Confirms That's 'Indeed' His Real Facial Hair in “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare ”(Exclusive)

"A twirly-whirly mustache became an option and I thought, 'I'm just going to keep on leaning into this,'" Cavill tells PEOPLE

<p>Daniel Smith</p> Henry Cavill in

Daniel Smith

Henry Cavill in 'The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare'

Some actors do their own stunts, others grow their own "twirly-whirly" mustaches!

Henry Cavill is clearing the air about his new look in The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. And yes, the beard is real.

Speaking with PEOPLE amid the release of the Guy Ritchie period action film, the 40-year-old actor confirms that the beard on his character Gus March-Phillipps is 100% his own facial hair.

"I did indeed grow that myself. I didn't have someone else grow it and then just take it on," Cavill says. "I wanted to have an interesting bit of facial hair for this, just to switch things up. And a twirly-whirly mustache became an option and I thought, 'I'm just going to keep on leaning into this.'"

The film itself finds its star leading a "secret combat unit, composed of a motley crew of rogues and mavericks," per a synopsis, as they embark on "a daring mission against the Nazis using entirely unconventional and utterly 'ungentlemanly' fighting techniques."

And the era-specific facial hair, Cavill says, "became quite a fun look, and it sort of helped inform my character a bit as well, because having facial hair like that sort of implies a certain personality."

"I wouldn't necessarily say unhinged, just to avoid any viewers out there who may have similar facial hair, but in that capacity, maybe," he jokes. "Maybe eccentric."

Related: Henry Cavill Says Sex Scenes Are Sometimes 'Overused' in Movies: 'I Don't Understand Them — I'm Not a Fan'

<p>Daniel Smith</p> Henry Cavill in 'The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare'

Daniel Smith

Henry Cavill in 'The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare'

In Ungentlemanly Warfare, which was adapted from The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: How Churchill’s Secret Warriors Set Europe Ablaze and Gave Birth to Modern Black Ops by Damien Lewis, Cavill stars alongside the likes of Eiza GonzálezAlan RitchsonAlex PettyferHero Fiennes TiffinHenry Golding, Cary Elwes, Babs Olusamokun, Henrique Zaga and Til Schweiger.

Speaking on his love of working with director Ritchie, with whom he also made 2015's The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Cavill shares that the filmmaker "creates this sense of an environment of creative freedom."

"And it's something which we often talk about and we all get to have that freedom because the script is sort of being written as you're building the scene every day," he says. "As you're rehearsing, the script gets rewritten and sometimes a new monologue will come in."

"And everyone's ideas count. Terrible ideas are ridiculed, there's no doubt about that, but great ideas are praised. And so everyone mucks in. Everyone has a go."

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<p>Daniel Smith</p> Still from 'The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare'

Daniel Smith

Still from 'The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare'

Cavill has previously generated headlines for his facial hair after an unedited shot from 2018’s Justice League made waves on social media. In the photo, the actor sported a full mustache and beard while in costume as Superman.

Two years before, Variety reported that “extensive” reshoots had been underway for Justice League, with Cavill's mustache having been digitally removed since he reportedly had to leave it on for filming Mission: Impossible — Fallout.

While filming Mission: Impossible in Paris, Cavill poked fun at the mustache mayhem, joking that people from both movies' studios were forming a fleet of weapons over his facial hair.

"Dear followers, it is time to finally set the record straight in this moustache fiasco. Pictured above, is not a set on MI6 but is in fact the latest in a series of weapons being designed by Warner Bros and Paramount Studios to combat the entity known as 'Henry Cavill's Moustache.' There has been no discussion over whether to shave or not to shave for the JL reshoots, simply a relentless campaign to put an end to the seemingly inexorable conquest of this despotic 'stache," he wrote.

"It is not a question of IF I should shave - it is a question of how can we possibly be victorious against such a beast without bringing our own doom raining down upon us."

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is in theaters April 19.

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