The 47-year-old spoke to the Goop founder for the latest episode of the "In Goop Health: The Sessions" series and reflected on her decision to have children.
Diaz has been married to Good Charlotte singer Benji Madden since 2015 and the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Raddix, in December 2019.
“Being a mother at the age that I am, I don’t think I could have been this parent at 25,” Diaz said.
“I would not have become a mother if it wasn't for you. You used to talk, I’d be like:’I’m not having kids’. And you’re like: ‘You are having kids, you’re getting married, you’re having children’.”
Diaz recalled: “And I was like: ‘No, I’m not’. And you’re like: ‘You have to do it, you have to!’ And I was like: ‘I’m not gonna do it’.”
The Charlie's Angels star added that Paltrow was “on her all the time” and thanked her for not giving up.
“You were like: ‘You have to. You don’t understand. If you don’t do this you will be so sad that you didn’t do it’. And so I credit you so much with the fact that you never let up on me,” Diaz said, adding: “You were so, you know, I would say, encouraging and also…” prompting Paltrow to finish her sentence: “...a pain in the a**.”
Paltrow said that she believed Diaz was “a natural mother” and that the actor was “born to do it”.
Diaz admitted that much of her rejection of the idea of motherhood stemmed from fear.
“I was just scared. I was afraid. I was afraid I wouldn't, you know, find a partner,” she said. “I had no luck - you know, I didn't have people that I, in my life prior to that.”
Paltrow replied: “Yeah, you had some real humdingers in there.”
Cameron's dating history has reportedly included Justin Timberlake, Alex Rodriguez, Jared Leto and Matt Dillon.
During the interview, Diaz also has opened up on her decision to retire from acting, saying the move brought her “peace” and allowed her to focus on creating more of a personal life for herself.
The actor was one of the industry’s most sought-after stars, known for films including There’s Something About Mary and The Holiday.
Reflecting on walking away from Hollywood, she said: “I got a peace in my soul, because I finally was taking care of myself.
“I stopped and really looked at my life. I realised I handed off parts of my life to all these other people. I had to basically take it back and take responsibility for my own life.”
Diaz said she also wanted “different things out of life” when she turned 40 and how she and Madden had to “work hard” on their relationship at the beginning.
“We got married pretty much immediately because we realised we just had to do it,” Diaz said.
“We went hard for a few years where we just ironed [our relationship] out, hacked it out. It was a lot of work, but we had to.”
She added, “I'm older than him, not a lot older, but he was at the place in his life where he also wanted to do that as well.”