Elisabeth Moss and Fred Armisen Both Agree That He's a "Terrible" Husband
TBT: Check in every Thursday as we throw it back to some of our favorite celebrity couples of all time.
Who: Two-time Golden Globe and Emmy-winning actress Elisabeth Moss, 37, and Emmy and Grammy-nominated actor and writer Fred Armisen, 53.
How They Met: In the grand tradition of short-lived Hollywood romances (barring Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis, of course), Moss and Armisen met through Saturday Night Live. Armisen was a cast member in October 2008 when Moss’s Mad Men co-star Jon Hamm hosted for the first time. During said episode, Moss had a cameo in a parody sketch of the AMC drama.
Just three months later, Moss revealed that she and Armisen were engaged. “It’s private, so I don’t want to share the details of how it happened, but I will say it was perfect,” she reportedly shared in an interview.
By October of the following year — on the one year anniversary of the day they’d met — the pair wed in Long Island City.
When They Peaked: I mean, from the outside this was an adorable pairing. A Drama Queen and a Comedy King. Delightful. Look at them slow dancing at the Emmys!
Why We Loved Them: He called her “Lizzie” — that’s cute, right? Also, they used to have Rock Band dates with a whole crew. Ah, to be kind of dorky and in love in 2009 ...
The Breakup: In September 2010, just shy of a year into their marriage, Moss filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.” The actress reportedly listed June as the month in which she and Armisen had separated.
Nearly two years later, Moss opened up about her relationship with Armisen to Page Six, telling the outlet, "One of the greatest things I heard someone say about him is, 'He's so great at doing impersonations. But the greatest impersonation he does is that of a normal person.' To me, that sums it up."
The following year, Armisen spoke with Howard Stern, and naturally the Sirius XM radio host pressed the comedian to respond to Moss’s comments. “I think I was a terrible husband, I think I’m a terrible boyfriend,” The SNL alum admitted. (In a later interview with Vulture, Moss reportedly nodded in agreement when this quote was read.) Armisen went on to define his deficiency in a relationship. “I want it all ... fast,” he explained. “I want to be married, I want to live together ... and then somewhere around a year or two years, I get freaked out. I freak out emotionally and then I actually feel like ‘Oh my God, who’s this stranger in my house?’”
If you thought Moss’s diss track ended with the impersonation of a normal person bit, you’re sorely mistaken. In a 2014 Vulture profile, the Handmaid’s Tale star called the relationship “extremely traumatic and awful and horrible.”
In 2016, Armisen delved deeper into his relationship issues in general while recording an episode WTF with Marc Maron. “I get lost in fantasy a lot,” he shared, “the fantasy of this person from Mad Men, you know, great actress. And then as a person is interesting … all of a sudden, it’s like a slide. Like, ‘This is great!’”
“I have a problem with intimacy, where all of a sudden, there’s a real person there,” he continued. “It’s not the girl on Mad Men ... It’s almost like an amnesia. It’s almost like waking up and going, ‘Where am I? Who is this person? Why is this person looking at me directly in the eye and having a conversation with me?’”
In more explicit terms, Armisen explained, “It’s like cheating and infidelity. I’m neither ashamed or proud of it. It’s just something that happens in my life.”
Where They Are Now:
Armisen has been linked to actress Natasha Lyonne since 2014.
The Portlandia writer, co-creator, composer, producer, and star is set to appear in indie comedy/horror flick Too Late opposite Mary Lynn Rajskub.
Moss has since vowed to keep her love life private. “Who really gives a s—t whether or not I'm dating anyone? I hate to put that importance on it,” she told Marie Claire in 2019.
The actress’s newest project, The Invisible Man, opens in theaters on Feb. 28. Up next, Moss will star in Wes Anderson’s ensemble dramedy The French Dispatch, Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins, and season 4 of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale.