Will Arnett on people being ‘team Amy’: ‘This is a family. This isn’t some game’

Will Arnett and Amy Poehler’s marriage ended 10 years ago. I remember following their romance because they seemed like such a perfect pairing. I was pretty bummed to find out they were splitting up. When any popular couple splits, there’s always whispers about what happened. In Will and Amy’s case, the consensus was that they grew apart. But his post-split dating habits made people wonder whether he was a cheater.

Amy and Will have not gone into detail about their split excpet to say it was painful. Amy wrote about it in her memoir, Yes, Please. Will said a year following the split that he wasn’t officially dating because it scared him post-divorce. While promoting his new Netflix show Murderville, Will made some rare comments about his divorce and the role the media played in it. He said many outlets jumped to conclusions and declared themselves “Team Amy,” which crushed him because it wasn’t something to be made light of, it was his life.

The weird years began in 2012 when Arnett and Poehler announced, after nine years of marriage, that they were separating; they divorced in 2016. They had often worked together and Mindy Kaling, in her bestselling memoir, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, cites their relationship as the ideal, a sentiment echoed by fans. So their split sparked an enormous amount of online commentary. What’s it like going through a divorce when the outside world is so invested in you as a couple?

“People talk about you like they know you and they talk about your relationship as if they know what’s going on. So imagine how weird that is. It’s brutal with any relationship, and we have kids, and without getting into specifics, you then see stuff online, like, this one journalist wrote: ‘I’m Team Amy.’ I’m like: ‘You’re a grown person. What are you talking about? This is a breakup. This is a family. This isn’t some game.’”

I tell him that my favourite part of Poehler’s 2014 memoir, Yes Please, is her chapter in which she imagines hypothetical books to help people through a divorce. One is called I Want a Divorce! See You Tomorrow! – to help divorced parents with young children “have a knock-down, drag-out fight and still attend a kid’s birthday party together on the same day”. He makes a small smile. “Yeah, you get on with it. It’s been almost 10 years and my kids are so lucky that Amy is their mother and I’m so lucky that we’re such a huge part of each other’s lives, even more so than we were five years ago,” he says.

At the time of the separation, Arnett was making season four of Arrested Development, when Netflix revived the show in 2013 after Fox abruptly ended it in 2006. He was thrilled to be back with the cast, but the shoot was, he says “almost excruciating … Just brutal, brutal, brutal. I was driving to the set one day and I pulled over to the side of the road and cried for an hour.” At least he was working with Hurwitz at the time, who, he says, helped him to turn his pain into something “hilarious and cathartic” on the show.

[From The Guardian via Page Six]

To Will’s point, it must be incredibly painful to be going through something as devastating as the end of your marriage only to find out the media has decided you’re the villain of your own tragedy. Between Amy admitting she just wanted to stay in bed all day and Will pulling over to cry for an hour, their divorce is breaking my heart all over again, even though I know they’ve both moved on. I get why this happened to Will, though, because he didn’t respond to rumors at the time. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, but Will tends to say nothing when it comes to controversy. That’s how he ended up on the wrong side of the Jessica Walter story. Will didn’t say anything during that part of the interview, save for one joke about keying Jason Bateman’s car. Just like he said nothing when he was being accused of doing wrong by Amy, when she was the one to move on to a relationship very soon after the split. I think avoidance is Will’s coping mechanism, but it keeps painting him in the worst light. And in the Jessica Walter situation, deservedly so. He should have stood up for her. At least he didn’t stand up for Jeffrey Tambor.

I loved what he said about his sons being lucky to have Amy as a mom and that he’s lucky to get to be a part of her life. I also love Murderville! I just watched the Kumail Nanjiani episode (ep. 3) last night. The Guardian writer called out that episode in the article because it’s laugh out loud funny. I’ve like all three so far. Marshawn Lynch was so much better than I expected, he’s charming. If you don’t know, Will and the guest stars are improvising their parts throughout the show. I just started watching and I’m already getting anxious about running out of episodes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s dumb with a capital D. But it’s just the kind of dumb I need right now.

Photo credit: InStar Images and Avalon Red

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29 Responses to “Will Arnett on people being ‘team Amy’: ‘This is a family. This isn’t some game’”

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  1. Escargot says:

    This is the most mature thing I’ve ever heard from a celebrity after a divorce. It shows his great respect for his family, his children and the mother of his children.

    I hope Will stays such a good guy. His comedy is wonderful, his humor is so unique and truly hilarious. BoJack Horseman was masterful and it got me through some hard times with all the genuine laughs. And of course Gob is the best in Arrested Development. Even the way he voices Batman in Lego Movie is hilarious!

  2. Merricat says:

    A good guy would have stood up for Jessica Walter.

    • MelOn says:

      Sigh, good or bad, not everyone is comfortable “speaking out”. I understand that he should have, but that doesn’t make him a bad person.

    • Lucy2 says:

      All of the guys disappointed me when they didn’t stand up for her. As far as I know, Tony Hale apologized and they were on good terms when she passed. I don’t know about the others.
      I would hope they all learned from that and do better in the future.

  3. canichangemyname says:

    I’ve been following celebrity news since I was like 15 years old buying People magazine LOL. And that thought has often occurred to me, especially after my own divorce – how difficult it would be to go through that publicly. I mean, I’ve been through two, and as far as divorces go they were both amicable, but it’s devastating. I imagine it must be 100x worse with everyone watching and judging. I’m glad they’ve made peace and have moved on.

  4. Babs says:

    His podcast (Smartless) with Sean Hayes and Jason Bateman is so funny. I just saw their live show in Chicago this week and Will was hysterical.

    • Summergirl says:

      Will regularly makes me laugh out loud when I’m listening to Smartless. He may be the funniest person I have ever heard in conversation. Smartless is such a fun podcast.

      • Lindsay says:

        Yeah, Smartless is great. I love the guys’ friendship. I also love Amy’s gown in the red carpet photo.

    • Green Desert says:

      Adding to the Smartless love – it’s so good and funny! Even when there’s a guest I’m “meh” about, I still listen because the guys are hilarious, and quite often make me interested in someone I didn’t think I cared about (i.e. Tony Hawk, Barry Sonnenfeld).

      • Anne says:

        I love Smartless so much. Their episodes with Stephen Colbert, Martin Short and Conan are some of the funniest stuff I have ever listened to.

    • Oria says:

      Totally agree! He is the best.

      Though, on Smartless Will said that he never had a hard time shooting Arrested Development. He always looked forward getting to work when they shot that show. And that was his happiest time. I would’ve never guessed he cried in the car on his way. Poor guy, I’m glad he found joy in working on Arrested Development while going through his divorce.

  5. Lucy2 says:

    Their break up made me sad, and I can imagine that the public weighing did not help anyone. It sounds like they are in a really good place now though, which is great for them and their kids.

  6. TIFFANY says:

    Marshawn Lynch better be up for a guest Emmy for his episode is all I gotta say.

    He was the only one that got it. Got what the show was doing and what it was about. The entire improve of wanting to change is name was gold.

    As far as divorce talk, eh, he and Amy waited until enough time passed to speak on it. I’m glad they both moved on. Will is with a long term partner now and they have a child together. So it is working out.

    • Allyson says:

      Marshawn was BY FAR the funniest! He went for it and I loved it. The name change thing was too good. He understood the assignment completely.

    • Ange says:

      When Will Arnett did that ‘cool’ walk into the hotel room and Marshawn was like ‘daaaamn, that was smooth as hell!’ I legit busted out laughing for a good 10 seconds.

      That said while I enjoyed the series it was often a reminder that being an actor doesn’t necessarily mean you’re good at improv, it’s definitely a skill you have to learn.

    • Trish says:

      “Detective Bagabitch” 😂😂😂
      Best episode of the series!

    • Meg says:

      I only saw the Conan episode so far and I had a moment like that too. Will overreacting to a magician trick we had to rewind a few times to not miss the next few minutes of jokes laughing

  7. Lena says:

    I can imagine going through a divorce publicly is worse because just like real life, people somewhat naturally pick sides and think they know “why”’ it happened. People, we don’t know the real “why” in couples we do know much less famous people we only have a para social relationship with. The way he speaks about Amy now is the way it’s done, famous folk or not. Theirs was especially sad I thought because they had spent many years child free then when their kids are one and three-they split. Having little kids is hard but harder when you don’t have another parent there.

    • Carol says:

      I totally agree. Having the public pick sides while going through a divorce must be awful. I see that a lot on this site, particularly when it comes to Brad and Angelina. I see Brad portrayed 100% evil while Angelina is portrayed as an angel. We don’t know what is happening in any celebrity marriage but people still tend to speculate based on pieces of information. As a celebrity, in some ways you are inviting the world into your home so I get why people get so involved in a their marriage/divorce. But its still a bit weird to me and a bit wrong.

  8. LadySwampwitchGivsNeauFux says:

    I am sorry but I remember when they got divorced. He was salivating over all the young hot women he was gonna date. And he did. And he’s married to a much younger woman who he’s cheating on. So forgive me if I find Will’s crying a little pathetic in that its a lie.

    • Truthiness says:

      There were constant cheating blinds for Will during most of his marriage. I thought it was an open secret, he has never once claimed he was monogamous and he has been pretty open about hitting on young women in public. I’m sure it affected his boys and their relationship but it was in his power to be faithful. Amy is too Alpha to put up with it for long. Once the pattern was clear.

  9. Annetommy says:

    Will’s partner is 34. Old enough to make her own decisions. And I have no idea how anyone here would know whether he’s cheating on her.

  10. J says:

    Isn’t he a cheater? He needs to save it for his therapist not be talking about this publicly unless it’s to own it and show contrition.

  11. jferber says:

    I watched all 6 episodes and enjoyed every one. Marshawn Lynch is definitely charismatic, funny and sexy. Really, really charming guy.

  12. Kittycat says:

    He has always seemed creepy to me. Like makes my skin crawl.