Ben Affleck wants everyone to know that, despite the eye-catching headline of a recent viral New Yorker story, he’s doing just fine.
On Saturday, New Yorker writer Naomi Fry published a story called “The Great Sadness of Ben Affleck,” which analyzed recent pictures of the Justice League actor from a training session of his upcoming Netflix film Triple Frontier, directed by J.C. Chandor. In the tabloid pictures, Affleck is depicted staring out into the surf with his shoulders hunched, his colorful dragon back tattoos visible to the camera. (Affleck has previously claimed that those tattoos were painted on for a movie and are not real.) With the peg of the recent despondent-looking pictures, Fry recalled the “Sad Affleck” meme from 2016 and suggested the picture was symbolic of men’s place in the world in 2018.
“Staring at the water before him, his gaze obscure and empty, Affleck is a defeated Roman senator, or, perhaps, the most anti-Romantic version imaginable of Caspar David Friedrich’s 1818 Wanderer in the Sea of Fog,” Fry wrote. “The image suggests not just the fall of Affleck but the coming fall of man. There is something about this exhausted father that reflexively induces panic. We’ve been living in a world run by Afflecks for so long, will we even know ourselves when they’re gone?”
But on Thursday, Affleck tweeted at the magazine with a cheeky response that also seemed to acknowledge whether the back tattoos are, indeed, his: “I’m doing just fine. Thick skin bolstered by garish tattoos,” he wrote.
Affleck also responded when the Sad Affleck memes went viral. After a Batman v. Superman interview with Henry Cavill in which he does not speak, one YouTuber overlaid it with Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sounds of Silence.” When BBC1 asked him what the film had taught him about being an actor and director, he quipped, “It taught me not to do interviews with Henry Cavill where I don’t say anything and they can lay Simon & Garfunkel tracks over it. That’s one thing I learned.”
@NewYorker I’m doing just fine. Thick skin bolstered by garish tattoos.
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) March 29, 2018
Last Saturday, almost exactly two years after Ben Affleck denied its existence, the back tattoo returned to haunt the headlines, itself a phoenix rising from the ashes of gossip rags past. https://t.co/wItYWWlb5I
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) March 29, 2018
This story originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.