Nearly a year after Ben Affleck showed off his massive back tattoo on the beach, people continue to express their opinions about the ink — including Ellen DeGeneres.
During a Thursday, March 14, appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, conversation turned to the 46-year-old Triple Frontier actor’s tattoo, and he couldn’t help but defend his decision with a laugh.
“Yes, it’s a Phoenix, rising from my ass,” Affleck joked after the talk show host, 61, pointed out the placement of it. “And I was about to say it represents something really important to me. But you know what? Maybe just … we’ll skip that.”
On a more serious note, Affleck explained: “It’s meaningful to me. I like it. It’s something that I sort of kept private. It wasn’t like I was sort of doing photoshoots or whatever. We were two hours north of the city in Hawaii and we didn’t know the paparazzi was there.”
He added: “I’m happy with it.”
The Gone Girl actor has previously spoken out about his colorful ink. “@NewYorker I’m doing just fine,” he tweeted in March 2018 shortly after the tattoo made headlines with backlash. “Thick skin bolstered by garish tattoos.”
Affleck debuted the tattoo in December 2015 on the set of Live by Night in Los Angeles. Vanity Fair referred to the permanent body art as a “midlife crisis tattoo” in an interview with his now ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, at the time. “A phoenix rising from the ashes. Am I the ashes in this scenario? I take umbrage. I refuse to be the ashes,” the Peppermint actress, 46, replied at the time. The former couple had recently split, and have since finalized their divorce. Affleck and Garner continue to remain amicable and coparent their three children, Violet, 13, Seraphina, 10, and Samuel, 7.
More recently, Affleck’s BFF Matt Damon stood up for his pal when asked about the ink. “It’s not one man’s job to tell another man what he can do to his back,” the Deadpool 2 actor, 48, told Trevor Noah during an appearance on the Daily Show. “You know, I support him in all of his artistic expression.”
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