David Beckham is going medieval.
The former athlete makes a surprise appearance in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword as Trigger, a smart-mouthed (and scarred!) soldier to the king. The role marks his official acting debut — it’s his first full-on speaking part in a feature-length film.
Here are four things to learn about his surprise role:
1. Blink and you might miss him.
Beckham’s cameo only lasts two short minutes. During the scene, the 42-year-old oversees Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) as he approaches the legendary tale’s mythic sword before pulling it out, thus discovering his true destiny as the future king.
“My role is pretty small in this and I have one or two lines,” Beckham says in a video posted to his Instagram.
But while his appearance may be fleeting, his presence is definitely memorable!
2. You might not recognize him.
Beckham was covered in prosthetics for his role, making him nearly unrecognizable. He was given a pair of yellow, false teeth to harden his grin, and prosthetic scars on his face to hide his signature good looks.
“Rough day at the office,” he captioned an Instagram shot showing off his makeup.
3. He’s old pals with director Guy Ritchie
While Beckham’s cameo may come as a surprise to fans, there’s no question as to how he got the role: He goes way back with Ritchie. Beckham has called Ritchie one of his “best friends” on numerous occasions, and they are often spotted hanging out. Beckham even attended Ritchie’s wedding to Jacqui Ainsley in 2015.
This is Beckham’s second appearance in a Ritchie film — he made a quick, wordless cameo in 2015’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
“He looks after me in many different ways,” says Beckham in the above Instagram video. “I trust him.”
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4. Charlie Hunnam is a fan.
Hunnam said he was excited to work alongside the former athlete and was impressed by his work ethic.
“He’s super cool and really inspiring,” Hunnam told PEOPLE. ” He worked really, really hard and it became very clear immediately why he’s enjoyed the success he’s had. He just has a ferocious work ethic.”
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword hits theaters on May 12.