Twitter was a slightly cleaner cesspool back in 2015, when, instead of our president repurposing absurd Curb Your Enthusiasm clips for a quick ego boost, we would overanalyze Ben Affleck’s sprawling back tattoo of a rising phoenix for hours to determine its veracity. Despite the actor’s insistence that it was fake and created for a film role, the ink never lies, and years later he was forced to do the unthinkable: admit that the tattoo, in all of its vibrant, ashy glory, was a conscious decision. (He was literally frolicking on the beach without a shirt. There was no getting out of this one.) But why lie, Sad Affleck? Aren’t you proud of its poignant, mythological meaning? “I resented that somebody got a picture of it by spying on me,” Affleck told the New York Times. “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.” In his defense, who wouldn’t mess with those punks at Extra if given the chance?
Photo: BG004/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images