Ben Affleck doesn't care that people hate his giant back tattoo.

The 'Triple Frontier' actor caused a stir two years ago when he revealed the colourful inking of a phoenix when he went shirtless on a beach, but despite the criticism he received for the inking, he still ''loves'' it because it is so personal to him.

After admitting it had received ''not so much positive'' attention, he said: ''It's meaningful to me, I like it. It's something I kept private I wasn't doing photoshoots, we were two hours north of the city and didn't know paparazzi were there. sentiment ran against but I love my tattoo, I'm happy with it.''

Talk show host Ellen Degeneres couldn't resist poking fun at the tattoo either, as when she first asked her guest about the design and he said it was a phoenix, she quickly quipped: ''Rising from your ass''.

The 46-year-old actor laughed: ''We didn't plan that, you're very quick. It's a phoenix rising from my ass and I was about to say it represents something really important to me but we can skip that.''

Ben - who has children Violet, 13, Seraphina, 10, and Samuel, seven, with ex-wife Jennifer Garner spent a period in rehab last year to fight his alcoholism but he is ''grateful'' for the struggles in his life as he is now in such a ''great place''.

Asked how he has been in the two years since he last appeared on Ellen's show, he said: ''There's temptation to say I get depressed and this was hard and that was hard, or I could be embarrassed but I feel so good now, I'm in a great place, kids are healthy, life is good, so whatever it took for me to get to this place, I'm grateful.''

While the 'Argo' filmmaker and the 'Camping' actress both agree their kids are all fine to watch Ellen's daytime talk show, he admitted he is usually the more ''liberal'' parent.

He said: ''You have split families and go back and forth on the rules, I'm a bit more liberal on the screen side of things, the games and TV.''