Ben Affleck doesn’t seem to mind talking about the massive back tattoo he once called “fake” after photos of it first surfaced in 2015.
He acknowledged that the red, yellow and blue phoenix tattoo didn’t get the most positive reaction from people, including DeGeneres, who said it looked like the phoenix was “rising from your ass.”
But Affleck said the “meaningful” tattoo “represents something really important” to him.
“I like it,” Affleck said. “It’s something I sort of kept private. It wasn’t like I was sort of doing photo shoots or whatever.”
Though he tried to keep the tattoo under the radar, paparazzi found the actor on a beach in Hawaii and snapped some photos of it back in 2016, confirming its authenticity. People hated the design, but the actor didn’t seem to mind.
“I was like, I love my tattoo. I’m very happy with it,” Affleck said. “Luckily I’m the one who has it.”
Back in 2016, the actor denied that the tattoo was real and told Extra’s Mario Lopez that the ink was “fake for a movie.”
“I actually do have a number of tattoos but I try to have them in places where you don’t have to do a lot of cover-up. They get sort of addictive, tattoos, after a while,” he said.
Actress Jennifer Garner, who shares three children with Affleck, voiced her unhappiness with her former husband’s ink during a candid Vanity Fair profile in 2016.
“You know what we would say in my hometown about that? ‘Bless his heart,’” Garner said. “A phoenix rising from the ashes. Am I the ashes in this scenario? I take umbrage. I refuse to be the ashes.”
Affleck’s former fiancee, Jennifer Lopez, also had lots of thoughts on the tattoo when asked by Andy Cohen on “Watch What Happens Live” in 2016.
“It’s awful! I would tell him that,” she said. “I would tell him, ‘What are you doing?’ It has too many colors. His tattoos always had too many colors.”
“They shouldn’t be so colorful,” she added. “They should be, like, cooler. I don’t know.”