Ben Affleck Explains Why He Originally Said His Back Tattoo Was Fake

The actor opens up about the real story behind his back tattoo in a honest new interview with The New York Times

Ben Affleck is coming clean about why he lied about his massive back tattoo being fake for a movie before admitting it was real years later.

“I resented that somebody got a picture of it by spying on me,” Affleck said during a candid interview with The New York Times referring to a paparazzi shot of his tattoo, a full-color picture of a phoenix taking flight (which completely covers his back).

“It felt invasive. But you’re right. I could have said, ‘That’s none of your business.’ I guess I got a kick out of messing with Extra. ‘Is your tattoo real or not real?’ Of course, it’s real! No, I put a fake tattoo on my back and then hid it,” the actor continued, referencing a March 2016 interview with Extra’s Mario Lopez where the actor said it was “fake for a movie.”

“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,” he said during the 2016 Extra interview.

But Affleck later opened up about the tattoo during an April 2019 interview with Ellen Degeneres on an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. DeGeneres jokingly said that the tattoo was a phoenix “rising from your ass.”

Affleck stood by his body art, explaining that it “represents something important to me.”

Ben Affleck
Tim P. Whitby/Getty

“It’s meaningful to me, I like it,” he said. “I love my tattoo. I’m very happy with it. Luckily, I’m the one who has it.”

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