What is Ben Affleck’s Back Tattoo?

Ben Affleck has caught people’s attention for many things over the course of his career. From his popular films to his eventful personal life, it seems that there is always something to talk about when it comes to Affleck.

In the past few years, fans have also become curious about his body art — most notably, the huge back tattoo that he reportedly got. Read on below to learn more about this interesting piece of ink.

Ben Affleck on the red carpet
Ben Affleck | Pablo Cuadra/WireImage

Ben Affleck first showed off his back tattoo in 2016

The first time that people got to see Affleck’s back tattoo was in 2016 when he was on vacation in Hawaii. Affleck was shirtless at a beach and showed off the massive tattoo of a phoenix on his back.

At the time, Affleck would often deny that the tattoo was real. He told Extra that same year: “It’s fake for a movie. I actually do have a number of tattoos, but I try to not have them in places where you have to do a lot of cover-up.”

Of course, the supposedly fake tattoo did not go away as one would expect for non-permanent ink. It didn’t take long before onlookers started suspecting that the tattoo was actually real.

In 2018, a source told People that Affleck got the tattoo after his breakup with Jennifer Garner in 2015. The insider also shared: “They had a huge tattoo machine at the house for days. It took hours and hours to finish.”

Ben Affleck confirmed that his back tattoo is real 2019

In 2019 Affleck finally admitted that the tattoo had been real all along. He confirmed this on the Ellen DeGeneres Show back in March, sharing that the phoenix tattoo is “meaningful” and “represents something really important” to him, though he did not elaborate on these details.

Affleck also revealed that he never intentionally tried to show off his tattoo in Hawaii in 2016, and the fact that people around the world saw it was a surprise for him, too.

“It’s something I sort of kept private,” Affleck said. “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.”

Other celebrities do not seem to like Ben Affleck’s back tattoo

While Affleck seems very proud of the artwork on his body, other celebrities close to him have expressed that they are not huge fans of it.

His ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Lopez, called it “awful.”

Meanwhile, his ex-wife Jennifer Garner commented: “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?”

Even Affleck’s longtime friend Matt Damon did not compliment the tattoo. Instead, Damon simply said: “It’s not one man’s job to tell another man what he can do with his back.”

Other tattoos that Ben Affleck has

As Affleck shared with DeGeneres, he has various other tattoos on his body aside from the phoenix one.

For example, Affleck has two tattoos on his shoulders. On his left side is a cross with flowers around it. The right side features a tree with a band of roses.

Underneath his left shoulder blade are some mysterious combinations of letters that people have yet to decipher – “OV,” “MOH NON TE,” and “TA OR.”

Many years ago, Affleck also sported a dolphin tattoo on one of his hips. Reportedly, the dolphin was a cover-up for the name of an ex that he once had inked on his body.

However, this tattoo has not been seen in a while, so a lot of fans believe that he had it removed.