updated 03/05/2010 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/05/2010 AT 2:00 PM ET
At 63, Susan Sarandon appears to have found the fountain of youth.
Newly single after ending her 23-year relationship with Tim Robbins in December, the Oscar winner is glowing and happy – and rumored to be dating a man half her age, entrepreneur Jonathan Bricklin (the pair have denied a romance).
So what’s her secret to looking great?
“Don’t smoke!” Sarandon told PEOPLE Thursday night at the Pre-Oscar Ping-Pong Party at West Hollywood’s Skybar. “It’s just so bad for your complexion. And I guess be as happy as possible. That really helps.”
To host Thursday’s bash, Sarandon joined forces with SPiN New York, the ping-pong club in which she and the 32-year-old Bricklin are co-investors.
The star says she first got hooked on the idea of a table tennis-themed bar when she went to ping-pong parties with a girlfriend. That ultimately led her to meet Bricklin – a hard-core ping-pong player and documentarian who had dreams of opening his own club.
The ‘Odd Factor’
Sarandon admits that her participation in such a venture seemed a little outlandish, but she went for it anyway. In the end, the “odd” factor helped generate interest.
“Somehow, my involvement was so absurd that people started investing money,” she tells PEOPLE, laughing. “The rest is history. It ended up being a really great idea because nobody had ping-pong plus a bar plus music plus really nice lighting.”
She says she plays ping-pong “just for fun, not seriously.” Bricklin says he isn’t coaching Sarandon because she travels and works so much.
“She’s not that good yet,” he tells PEOPLE. “She’s actually pretty good for a girl.”
As for her involvement in SPiN? “Susan is our driving force,” Bricklin says.
Like an Old Hippie
Sarandon attended the party with one of her two sons with Robbins, Jack, 20, and her 24-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, Eva Amurri – who is also an actress. Sarandon’s other son, Miles, 17, wasn’t among the guests.
“It’s nice to have something in common with your kids,” she says. “Jack is studying film at USC and Miles is interested in music All my kids really are curious and energetic and interested in things.”
Sarandon gets philosophical when she talks about being happy.
“I hate to sound like the old hippie that I am, but I think that even the bad stuff can turn into good stuff,” she says. “Every day is a miracle, right?”
Reporting by MICHELLE WARD