When paparazzi shots revealed that Ben Affleck had a massive phoenix tattoo on his back in 2015, the world collectively gasped. The world then breathed a sigh of relief when, during promotion for Batman v Superman in 2016, Affleck told Extra’s Mario Lopez that the tattoo was “fake, for a movie” — only to be confused again when said "movie" never surfaced. Since, Affleck has come clean about his personal life, including his infamous tattoo.
“I resented that somebody got a picture of it by spying on me,” Affleck told The New York Times in a new profile when asked about the initial photos of his tattoo. “It felt invasive.”
This isn't the first time that Affleck criticized the paparazzi for invading his privacy. In a 2013 interview with Playboy, he slammed photographers who took pictures outside his children's school, saying there are "practical dangers" for doing such a thing. At the time, Affleck said his family had a stalker and showed up to the school in a crowd of photographers.
Despite his issue with the paparazzi, Affleck knows lying to Lopez when asked about the tattoo wasn't the best option.
“I could have said, ‘That’s none of your business,’” Affleck admitted. “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.”
Affleck will next star in The Way Back, a film about a basketball coach dealing with alcohol abuse issues. He didn't get a tattoo for the movie, but it may be one of his more personal performances to date.
“One of the things about recovery that I think people sometimes overlook is the fact that it inculcates certain values," Affleck told the New York Times. "Be honest. Be accountable. Help other people. Apologize when you’re wrong."
The Way Back hits theaters March 6, 2020. Check out the trailer below: