The new AOL Originals docu-series, Connected, follows six New Yorkers who filmed themselves for six months in a new twist on the unscripted format. Among the cast is Jonathan Bricklin, a writer and entrepreneur from New York who also happened to be dating someone very famous while shooting. The first episode provides an intimate look inside his relationship with Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon.
Bricklin, who at 37 is over 30 years younger than Sarandon, says the difference in their age is not what caused friction between the pair.
"Susan is much older than me, and much more successful," Bricklin tells the camera in the opening scenes while Sarandon takes promotional photos at SPiN, a club that he co-owns. "It's probably because of that that I've been referred to as her toy boy from the very beginning. Strangely, age is not the issue. It's the success that creates trouble for me."
In the next scene, they candidly discuss their careers as Sarandon gets ready for a meeting.
"I've always felt embarrassed for you," Bricklin says, "that you were dating me, or associated to me in public."
When the actress asks why he feels that way, Bricklin responds, "Because, I look like a little kid, and I'm not notable for anything. And people expect a lot from you. They feel like you should be dating someone fabulous."
To which she responds, "I am."
Today Page Six reported that the couple split after five years together, with a source citing that the unscripted show was the cause of their rift. When rumors of their breakup first surfaced, Bricklin released a statement regarding Sarandon's connection to the docu-series:
"Susan and I have a lot of respect and great admiration for each other. It's impossible to concisely characterize our relationship, other than to say that it continues to evolve in new and unexpected ways. She supported my decision to be a part of AOL's 'Connected', and making this series about my life has brought up real and somewhat unexplored issues, but it didn't break us up."