Natasha Lyonne reveals the ‘mundane’ but very L.A. reason she and Fred Armisen broke up

A woman with red hair in a red dress linking arms with a man wearing glasses, fangs and a suit
Natasha Lyonne, left, and Fred Armisen arrive at the 2018 Emmy Awards in Los Angeles.
(Danny Moloshok / Invision/Associated Press)

Couples break up for myriad reasons: incompatibility, long distance, infidelity or — if you’re Natasha Lyonne and Fred Armisen — over a swimming pool?

In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Lyonne confirmed that she and Armisen split after living together in Los Angeles during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also revealed the “mundane reason” for the breakup, which came down to, uh, conflicting lifestyle preferences.

“I honestly think we broke up because I wanted a swimming pool,” the actor told THR.

“We love each other just about as much as two people can love each other and we’re still talking all the time, but Freddy doesn’t like a swimming pool.”


According to Page Six, the “Russian Doll” star and the “Saturday Night Live” alum began dating around 2014 after Armisen’s “SNL” co-star Maya Rudolph introduced them. Armisen was previously married to actor Elisabeth Moss and singer Sally Timms.

“It might seem like a mundane reason for a breakup, but during that pandemic, you’ve got to get your laps — I’m like Burt Lancaster in ‘The Swimmer,’” Lyonne continued.

“So, I got myself a house with a pool out in Los Angeles. So that’s the real scandal. I guess I finally am an actual bicoastal.”

“Russian Doll,” which begins streaming in its eight-episode entirety Friday on Netflix, is a beautiful puzzle piece, a circular, multiplane, existential mystery-comedy set in the villages of Lower Manhattan.

Jan. 31, 2019

Lyonne also spoke with THR about the highly anticipated return of her hit Netflix series, “Russian Doll,” which premiered in 2019. Season 2 of the dark comedy — starring Lyonne and Charlie Barnett as two New Yorkers trapped in a deadly time-loop — premieres Wednesday.

“Netflix and Universal allow me to assemble sort of the Avengers of the best lady writers that we can find,” said Lyonne, who created the show with Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland.

“It’s the second time we’ve had an all-female writers room. They’re knockouts — such cerebral hotshots. ... A lot of it is a reference to the books that were with us from season one ... it’s a show where we can philosophically wonder: What does it mean to be alive?”