Ben Affleck is back in the spotlight not for splitting with another Hollywood muse or promoting a new film, but rather for a more colorful reason: his back tattoo.
Earlier this week, the Internet caught glimpse of a giant stamp of ink the actor has on his back when he was photographed on the beach. What’s the big deal? Affleck’s rising phoenix tattoo is one he previously denied having, saying that it was “fake for a movie.” Of course, the photos proved otherwise.
Enter his BFF Matt Damon: During an interview with The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Damon broke his silence about the tattoo and whether or not it’s in fact real. He answered a question about it in just about the most coy way. “It’s not one man’s job to tell another man what he can do to this back,” he said. “I support him in all of his artistic expression.”
Don’t think Damon was being low-key mean, though. The guys have been pals for quite some time, and he made that clear during the interview when Noah asked if they still communicate. “Unfortunately, I can’t seem to shake him. I’ve known him since I was 10, so that’s 37 years,” he said.
As People points out, Affleck has other tattoos, like a dolphin that covers up the name of his high school sweetheart, barbed wire, and a fish, skull, and crossbones work of art. It’s the phoenix tattoo, however, that’s made the most headlines.
In 2016, both Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Garner, his exes, jokes about the tattoo. Lopez said, “It’s awful, what are you doing,” on Watch What Happens Live, and Garner told Vanity Fair, “Bless his heart.”