Ben Affleck Reveals His Phoenix Back Tattoo Is Real

Paparazzi photos of Ben Affleck in various tropical locales over the last few years have shown off the actor's massive back tattoo of a phoenix. For nearly as long as these images have existed, the actor has attempted to deny that the tattoos were real, though it was unknown why he would cast doubt on his permanent commitment to body art. During a recent appearance on The Ellen Show, the actor has finally opened up about how the tattoo is real and has a lot of personal meaning to him, even if others who have seen the body art have offered their critiques of it.

"I like it. It's something I sort of kept private. It wasn't like I was sort of doing photo shoots or whatever. We were two hours north of the city on some island in Hawaii, and we didn't know paparazzi was there," Affleck revealed to DeGeneres. "So they got a picture of my tattoo and, yeah, the sentiment ran, you know, against."

He added, "I was like, 'I love my tattoo.' I'm very happy with it. Luckily I'm the one who has it."

This isn't Affleck's only tattoo, though most of his others are in innocuous places which could be easily concealed by makeup for a film when necessary. The actor initially dismissed the tattoo by citing how his motivations for tattoos were based on how they could be concealed.

"[It’s] fake for a movie," Affleck told Extra’s Mario Lopez. "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."

When the paparazzi photos emerged, fans were mostly surprised by the size of it, as it covered his entire back. Two of Affleck's former romantic partners, however, weren't big fans of the body art.

“It’s awful! What are you doing?” Jennifer Lopez said of the tattoo on Watch What Happens Live [H/T PEOPLE] in 2016. “His tattoos always have too many colors, they shouldn’t be so colorful. They should be cooler.”

Jennifer Garner, meanwhile, refused to allow herself to be the meaning behind the tattoo.

“You know what we would say in my hometown about that? ‘Bless his heart.’ A phoenix rising from the ashes. Am I the ashes in this scenario?” Garner shared with Vanity Fair. “I take umbrage. I refuse to be the ashes.”

What do you think of Affleck's tattoo? Let us know in the comments below!

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