For the better part of a decade, Will Arnett and Amy Poehler were comedy’s golden couple, teaming up for sidesplitting roles in projects like Blades of Glory and Arrested Development while raising two young sons. But when the actors split in 2012 after nine years of marriage, some fans took sides and tried to dig up gossip — a development that upset Arnett, according to his interview with good friend Dax Shepard on Monday’s episode of the Armchair Expert podcast.
During the conversation, Shepard broached the topic of being in a celebrity couple with a “shared identity,” joking that if he and wife Kristen Bell ever divorced, his career was bound to “go sideways” thanks to her “America’s Sweetheart” image.
Arnett, who was also briefly married to actress Penelope Ann Miller in the ‘90s, opened up about his own experience with dealing with speculation from strangers in the midst of a “heartbreaking” breakup.
“Somebody actually tagged me on Twitter,” the 49-year-old actor shared. “This woman — she was, like, a beat reporter for a Minnesota TV station — saying like, ‘I don’t know about you guys, but I’m Team Amy.’ And I wanted to respond and go, ‘We’re human beings in a relationship and our relationship fell apart. It’s heartbreaking. We have two kids, and this is not some f***ing game. And what are you talking about? And you have no f***ing clue of what our experience is.’”
While Arnett told Shepard and Armchair Expert co-host Monica Padman that he’s moved on from the criticism — “It doesn’t matter now when I see that all these years later,” he said — the breakup of course took a toll.
“It took me a long time to get over it,” he said. “It was really tough early on. Really tough.”
He also admitted fearing that Shepard and Bell were “edging me out” after the split, and felt “isolated.”
Arnett and Poehler finalized their divorce in 2016. Poehler, who dated fellow comic actor Nick Kroll from 2013 to 2015, reflected on the divorce in a 2014 interview with Howard Stern.
"As you know, Will and I are very, very good friends,” she told Stern. “We are doing a really good job. I don't think a 10-year marriage constitutes a failure. I think relationships are really tough."
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