Ben Affleck says he 'loves' his giant phoenix back tattoo

Ben Arnold
Ben Affleck (Credit: PA)

Ben Affleck has said that getting a massive tattoo of a phoenix that covers his entire back wasn’t a mistake.

Affleck, 46, inadvertently unveiled the elaborate inking last March, when paparazzi photographers snapped him with his top off while he was on the beach in Hawaii, during a filming break on the movie Triple Frontier.

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In blazing technicolour, the mythical beast rises from his waistline all the way up to his shoulder blades.

Yesterday, during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Affleck discussed his thinking, admitting that the public response to it was ‘not so much positive’, though to him it is ‘meaningful’, and ‘represents something really important to me’.

(Credit: Telepictures)

“I like it,” he says. “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. So they got a picture of my tattoo and yeah the sentiment ran, you know, against.

“I was like, I love my tattoo. I’m very happy with it. Luckily I’m the one who has it.”

Affleck’s ex-wife Jennifer Garner discussed the tatt in a cover story interview with Vanity Fair last year.

“You know what we would say in my hometown about that? ‘Bless his heart’,” she said. “A phoenix rising from the ashes. Am I the ashes in this scenario?”

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“I take umbrage. I refuse to be the ashes,” she then joked.

Affleck also spoke to DeGeneres about his recent stint in rehab, during which he addressed his on-going problems with alcohol.

“You know, it’s interesting. It’s like there’s temptation to get… depressed. I could feel like, oh I’ve been through a lot and this was hard and that was hard or I could be kind of embarrassed,” he said.

“But, I have to say, I feel so good now. I’m in such a great place. Kids are healthy. You know, life is good. And so it’s like whatever it took for me to get to this place, you know, I’m grateful for it.”