‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Star Elisabeth Moss Calls Previous Marriage to Former Saturday Night Live Cast Member ‘Traumatic’

Elisabeth Moss became a famous face after her role as Peggy Olson in AMC’s Mad Men. Now starring in Hulu’s hit series The Handmaid’s Tale, the Emmy and Golden Globe-winner has established herself as a top-rated actress.

Since the union was so brief, few may remember that Moss was once married to one of the stars of Saturday Night Live in 2009, though apparently the relationship is one Moss would like to forget.

Elisabeth Moss of "The Handmaid's Tale"
Elisabeth Moss of “The Handmaid’s Tale” | Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Met when Hamm hosted

According to InStyle, Moss met actor/comedian Fred Armisen in October 2008 when her Mad Men co-star Jon Hamm hosted Saturday Night Live. Moss appeared on the show during a sketch parodying the AMC drama. Evidently, sparks flew between the her and Armisen and after just three months of dating, they were engaged.

“It happened just a few days ago,” the actress told People in January 2009. “It’s private, so I don’t want to share the details of how it happened, but I will say it was perfect.”

The couple wed in October 2009 in Long Island City.

Fred Armisen and Elisabeth Moss attends the premiere of "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" after party
Fred Armisen and Elisabeth Moss | Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Moss’s take on the break

The marriage of Moss and Armisen was short-lived, with the couple splitting in June 2010 and the Hulu star filing for divorce that September. Though the news made the tabloids, Moss remained quiet on the topic for awhile but eventually shared her view of the relationship and her former husband.

“One of the greatest things I heard someone say about [Armisen] is, ‘He’s so great at doing impersonations. But the greatest impersonation he does is that of a normal person,'” she told to Page Six in 2012. “To me, that sums it up.”

Moss later described the relationship in a transparent interview with Vulture as a horrific experience. “Looking back, I feel like I was really young, and at the time I didn’t think that I was that young,” she said in 2014. “It was extremely traumatic and awful and horrible. At the same time, it turned out for the best. I’m glad that I’m not there. I’m glad that it didn’t happen when I was 50.”

Seeing her name in the tabloids and reading false stories about herself was a wake-up call for Moss. “I always knew that the stuff that you read is not true, but when I was in the situation and you really, actually read things that you apparently said or did that are 100 percent made up,” she said. “It’s just the strange, simple thing of, that’s your heart they’re talking about, and it just … it sucks.”

When asked if she kept in touch with Armisen, Moss gave a direct reply: “Oh, God, no,” she said.

Armisen’s take

The former SNL cast member seemed to realize why Moss’s recollection of their marriage was so bleak and commented on his performance as a husband. “I think I was a terrible husband, I think I’m a terrible boyfriend,” he told Howard Stern on his Sirius XM radio show in January 2013.

The comedian confessed that he often jumps into relationships without realizing that a commitment is involved. “I want it all … fast,” Armisen admitted. “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?”

Armisen reflected further on his former marriage in a 2016 interview with Marc Maron. “I get lost in fantasy a lot, the fantasy of this person from Mad Men, you know, great actress,” Armisen said. “And then as a person is interesting … all of a sudden, it’s like a slide. Like, ‘This is great!’”

Recognizing that he has intimacy issues, Armisen told Maron he tends to hit reality a little late in a relationship. “I have a problem with intimacy, where all of a sudden, there’s a real person there,” he shared. “It’s not the girl on Mad Men … It’s almost like an amnesia. It’s 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?’ … I’m neither ashamed or proud of it. It’s just something that happens in my life.”

Since their split, Moss prefers to keep quiet about her private life. Armisen is rumored to be in a relationship actress Natasha Lyonne since 2014.