"We've known each other since we were teenagers. All I can tell you is there's a deep love there – always was, and always will be," the actress, 38, tells Vanity Fair of her estranged musician husband.
Indeed, Patton met Thicke at an 18-and-under club in Los Angeles when she was 15 and he was 14. They married more than a decade after that, in 2005, before announcing their separation earlier this year.
"He wasn't my first kiss," Patton says, "but he was my first lots of other things."
While Thicke seemingly tried to woo back Patton with a series of public declarations at his concerts earlier this year, he did say in March that they were "both doing well. We're both very happy right now – much happier."
Patton – who has a 3-year-old son, Julian, with Thicke – also speaks about her acting career in the new interview. She worked in film production for many years before giving acting a try.
"I felt uncomfortable in my own skin, so I liked the other side of the camera," she says. "It took until I was 27 to say, 'You only have one life to live, so you might as well go and see if you can act.' "
She's now in Vancouver filming Warcraft, a movie based on the online game. "I've never been big into video games," she says. "But the Warcraft script reads more like a complex, epic novel."
Ralph Mecke exclusively for Vanity Fair