It’s one of my favorite pieces of celebrity trivia: Ben Affleck, a two-time Oscar winner, has a giant tattoo of a phoenix on his back.
The Argo director was initially hesitant to discuss his ink (becoming the first person with a tattoo to ever not want to tell everyone about their tattoo), calling it “fake for a movie,” but during Thursday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Affleck came to the defense of his precious. Affleck got the tattoo in 2015, shortly after his split from ex-wife Jennifer Garner, because it “represents something important to me,” he told DeGeneres. “It’s meaningful to me, I like it. I love my tattoo. I’m very happy with it. Luckily, I’m the one who has it.”
The reaction to the phoenix tattoo was “not so much positive,” Affleck said (except from Fall Out Boy fans). “It’s not something that I sort of kept private, It wasn’t like I was doing photo shoots or whatever, we were two hours north of the city on an island in Hawaii and we didn’t know the paparazzi were there. So they got a picture of my tattoo. And sentiment ran… you know, against.”
Including from Garner, who previously told Vanity Fair, “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? I take umbrage. I refuse to be the ashes.” Another one of Affleck’s exes, Jennifer Lopez, also called it “awful.” Say what you will about Affleck’s back tattoo (and there’s plenty to say!), but it was still a better decision than my Gigli face tat. So many regrets…