Gwyneth Paltrow and Anna Faris found they share a common bond when they sat down to chat for the latest episode of the “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” podcast.
Not only have both stars had their private lives play out in headlines during high-profile divorces, the women also credit those painful events with teaching them vital life lessons — and leading them both to find better ways to love again.
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“I learned so much from something that I wanted least in the world,” Paltrow said of her 2014 “conscious uncoupling” from her husband of 11 years, Chris Martin. “I never would have wanted to get divorced. I never would have wanted to not be married to the father of my kids. Theoretically.”
Despite that, she and the Coldplay frontman, who share daughter Apple, 16, and son Moses, 14, found that their marriage wasn’t working, and Paltrow realized that while she didn’t want divorce, it was exactly what she needed.
“I had learned more about myself through that process than I could have imagined,” the Goop founder explained. “And because I focused on accountability, I was then able to find the most amazing man and build something that I’ve never had before."
That man is now her current husband, Brad Falchuk.
The 48-year-old said that divorce helped inform her about herself, and that her subsequent romance with Falchuk brought even more life lessons.
“I was scared, because he is a person who demands presence and intimacy and communication in a way I just didn’t know how to,” she recalled. “I like to fight by shutting down — goodbye! I leave the room. And he was like, ‘No, absolutely not. We’re sitting down, and we’re figuring this out.’ And he demands that I am honest with myself in a way that is hard for me, but which really helps me grow.”
It all sounded so familiar to Faris, who split from ex-husband Chris Pratt, with whom she shares son Jack, 8, in 2017, before finding love again with her fiancé, cinematographer Michael Barrett.
“I’m engaged to a man who demanded the same thing, which I never had before,” she told Paltrow. “I had never been confronted with intense eye contact, actually.”
And like her guest, the 44-year-old wouldn’t have been ready for the challenge of her current relationship and future marriage without the failures in her past marriages. In addition to once being married to the “Guardians of the Galaxy” star, Faris was also wed to her former “Lovers Lane” co-star Ben Indra from 2004 to 2008.
“My two other marriages were with actors, and I don't think we did a great job of eliminating competitiveness,” she said. “Or at least I didn't, being a proud person and not wanting to reveal vulnerability. Any hint of competitiveness and comparison, I didn't handle that very well, I don't think.”
But now both women feel better equipped to handle whatever love and life throws their way.