Ben Affleck has dealt with a lot of negative commentary online throughout his whole career—that's what you get for dating Jennifer Lopez and starring in Gigli—but especially recently. Some of that is surely deserved, even if it should've remained personal. His affair leading to his divorce from Jennifer Garner didn't win him any fan love. Just last year, he opened up about his battle with alcohol addiction and stint in rehab to improve his life, which did get him some deserved sympathy.
But then there's the back tattoo. It was hard to avoid the jeers on social media when paparazzi photos leaked of a shirtless Affleck with a massive—it really does cover his whole back, and seems like it must've been pretty excruciating to get done—full-color tattoo of a phoenix. When it was initially spotted years ago, Affleck denied its very existence, saying the tattoo was "fake for a movie."
But Affleck has given up that game. He went on Ellen to promote his new critically well-received Netflix movie about former Special Forces operatives, Triple Frontier, and Ellen DeGeneres delicately brought up the phoenix in the room the way she does. She even made a joke about it. "It's a phoenix," Affleck noted, to which she added, "Rising from your ass."
It was hard to recover from that one. Affleck acknowledged that the tattoo has lots of haters (including his exes, by the way), but the actor who's "grateful" to be in "such a great place," doesn't have any regrets. "It represents something important to me... It's meaningful to me. I like it. It's something that I sort of kept private," he said. "I love my tattoo. I'm very happy with it." There you go, internet: Deal with Affleck's positivity.
For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.