The Shakespeare in Love star and the Thelma & Louise actor, 59, met on the set of Se7en in 1994 and got engaged in 1996.
“One night we were on the balcony of this house we were renting in this little town in Argentina. … I wish I remembered exactly what he said, but he proposed, it was fantastic, I was thrilled,” Paltrow said, adding that they had “talked about” taking the next step but she was “surprised” in the moment.
Months later, however, they called off their engagement.
“I had a lot of development to do, looking back in hindsight. In a lot of ways, I didn’t really fully start to come into myself until I was 40 years old. And I had such a pleasing issue. I didn’t really even understand how to listen to my instincts and act from that place for what was right for me. I was always trying to adjudicate what was right for everyone else,” she told Cooper. “When I look back I really was a kid, really more than most 22, 24 years old I meet now. I really had not explored who I was, what was important to me, what my boundaries were.”
Paltrow confessed that she was “totally heartbroken” when the twosome “broke up” and cited their nine-year age difference as one of the causes for the split.
“It was the right thing at that time, but it was really hard,” she explained. “There were a number of things that had happened, he was nine years older than me so he was far more … he knew what he wanted, he was ready to do it and I was kind of all over the place.”
Paltrow continued: “So it was really one of those difficult things, where I felt like, ‘Oh, my God, not only am I not ready, I’m not living up to the standards again.’ It was a familiar refrain I felt about myself.”
The Goop founder concluded that the Babylon star — who went on to have high-profile marriages with ex-wives Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie – is a “great guy,” adding: “He’s wonderful, I really like him a lot.”
“That is really hard,” she said when asked who was a better lover. “Because Brad was, like, the sort of major chemistry, love of your life, kind of, at the time. And then Ben was, like, technically excellent.”
When asked Paltrow to play “F—k, Marry, Kill” with Affleck, Pitt and her ex-husband, Chris Martin, the Sliding Doors actress answered that she’d “marry” the Coldplay musician, “f—k” Pitt and “kill” Affleck.
“Well, obviously, I’d marry Chris Martin because he gave me my two children who are the loves of my life,” she said, referring to daughter Apple, 18, and son Moses, 17. “So I would do that all again.”