SDFL-MATFL / Splash News Online; INF
December 12, 2008 04:40 PM

As a two-time Sexiest Man Alive, Brad Pitt is used to people dissecting his looks. But his favorite accessory these days – a scruffy thin mustache – has fans scratching their heads.

Whether on the red carpet for Benjamin Button or in New Orleans for his Make It Right foundation to help residents return to the city, Pitt’s mustache is front and center.

The actor proudly brushes off any criticism, telling PEOPLE “It’s fashion. Who am I without creative facial hair?”

After hearing about the naysayers, he adds, “I consider it very brave.”

In truth, the ‘stache is for his role in the Quentin Tarantino movie he’s filming, Inglorious Bastards.

After learning that his pal George Clooney is also sporting facial hair, Pitt quips, “I cannot get this guy out of my slipstream. He calls me up and wants to know what I’m wearing – and then he shows up in the same thing. Next thing you know he’s going to have six kids. Just got to tell you it’s getting really old.”

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