Robert Brotherton stars alongside Elite World Group CEO Julia Haart on the Netflix series

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My Unorthodox Life star Robert Brotherton
Credit: Robert Brotherton/Instagram

Netflix's My Unorthodox Life is all about CEO and co-owner of Elite World Group Julia Haart, and her life after leaving her ultra-Orthodox Jewish community — but fans of the series can't get enough of her costar Robert Brotherton. 

Haart's charismatic right-hand man, 34, was born and raised in Texas before making his way to New York where he now works alongside Haart as Elite Model World's Chief Operating Officer.

Below, Brotherton opens up to PEOPLE about everything from weight loss to his love life and becoming a new dog dad.

PEOPLE: You look incredible. What's your secret? 

Brotherton: I've lost 30 lbs. since I filmed the show. I feel like it looks like it's more than that, but that's probably thanks to old Facetune. And the way I did it was really focused on eating because nobody loves a block of cheese more than I do. And no one loves a glass of wine more than I do. And so I've really just been trying to focus on being in a calorie deficit and eating less than what I burn each day. And when I focus on that and I have good days, of course, every now and then some dirty bagel rears its ugly head. But we recover and we keep plowing through. And then the other thing is I really got serious about tennis. I've been playing a lot, particularly over the summer and through the spring. And that has just been such a fun way to exercise. In one setting I'll burn 1,000 calories or at least according to Apple, I'll burn 1,000 calories and it's an hour of fun. And getting better at something always feels good. So that's been my two-pronged approach.

How did you wind up in New York from Texas?

It started with school. So, one of my friends in high school randomly applied at Syracuse University. I don't even know why or how. She probably did way more research than I did. And somehow the school also ended up on my list. I really didn't know s--- about it. Excuse my language. I was thinking I was going to be a singer. My degree is in operatic performance. So, I went and I sang and then they called me back after my audition and said, "Come meet us afterwards." The day I was there, they offered me a full scholarship for music. And I was like, "Oh my God, this is amazing. I'm not going to have to pay for college." I really didn't even try for any other school. It seems cool and big. And so little did I know, Texas boy, that Syracuse was in Jack Frost's ass crack. And it was the coldest place on earth.

Robert Brotherton
Robert Brotherton
| Credit: Netflix

You met your birth mother for the first time on the show. What was that like? 

I mean, I think the response from people online and in person has been incredible. So many people reaching out to me to share their own stories of adoption, which has been really powerful for me personally. Because going into it, it was a very personal and intimate choice. And I really didn't think of how it could impact others. I know that sounds super selfish but anyways, that was the reality. It was a conflict for me. Am I going to share this very intimate detail? Then ultimately, I said, "If I'm going to do it, let's do it." And then it translated into something that a lot of people are connecting with. And I've probably received 10,000 DMs of people telling me about their experience, whether it went well or it didn't go well, or how they dealt with it with their family. It's been amazing and powerful. So, I had no idea that I would have that kind of positive impact. Usually, I'm the funny clown and doing something that's meaningful to others is a very nice change. 

You recently became a new dog dad. Are you loving it?

Richard. Well, right now Richard's in trouble because for some reason he smells like a shrimp tempura roll. He smells terrible. He's about to go get groomed. But he has been the light of my little life. Obviously, a COVID puppy. Bernedoodle medium. His mama was 100 lbs., his dad was 20 lbs. And he is just a little nugget of fabulous energy. He's seven and a half months now so he's turning into a little boy and he's going through puberty. And I just can't even deal with that. So yeah, loving it.

Are you currently seeing anyone?

I am seeing someone. It's a best friend from college who I saw off and on throughout the years. And in the middle of the pandemic, we moved in together and we got Richard together. It's going very well and very nice. One very negative thing about it is I'm not getting to enjoy the fabulous activity in my direct messages. So that's the only, I mean, there's a lot of funny business happening in there, a lot of funny business. Oh my God, reading them. My favorite thing to do is to respond to them. Look at this. Someone says something disgusting, I'm like, "Please tell me more. This sounds fabulous."