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Ben Affleck Addresses His Massive Back Tattoo on 'The Ellen Show'

In 2015, Ben Affleck was spotted with a massive back tattoo of a rainbow-colored phoenix, which many people immediately assumed was fake and for a movie he was filming due to its sheer size. As it turns out, the ink is real and Affleck opened up about the tattoo during a visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday.

According to the 46-year-old, the comments about the piece were “not so much positive.”

Affleck's tattoo was fully revealed last year while he was shooting scenes for his new Netflix film, Triple Frontier, which also stars Charlie Hunnam, Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal.

“It’s not something that I sort of kept private, It wasn’t like I was doing photoshoots or whatever, we were two hours north of the city on an island in Hawaii and we didn’t know the paparazzi were there,” he said on the show. “So they got a picture of my tattoo. And sentiment ran...you know, against.”

After DeGeneres cracked that the ink is a phoenix "rising from your ass," Affleck defended the choice, saying the tattoo “represents something important to me.”

“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.”

The phoenix was first seen while Affleck was shooting Live By Night, though he later claimed it was fake.

“[It’s] fake for a movie,” he told Extra in March 2016. “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.”

The bird is not Affleck's only tattoo, and in 2000, the father of three admitted that he does regret a few of his ink choices, one of which was a dolphin reportedly chosen to cover up the name of a high school ex-girlfriend.

"I was young. It was fun and cool," he said in an interview with ET. "I'm sorry now, but it is a good lesson in decisions that have important and long repercussions."

During his chat with DeGeneres, Affleck also opened up about his current state, explaining that he's feeling good.

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"There's temptation — I could get depressed, I could be like 'Oh, I've been through a lot, this was hard and that was hard,' or I could be kind of embarrassed," he said. "I feel so good now, I'm in such a great place, kids are healthy, life is good, so whatever it took for me to get to this place, I'm grateful."

Photo Credit: The Ellen DeGeneres Show