Distanced as it may be from the central hub of LA — well, wherever that is — the mountainous and semi-remote community of Topanga Canyon nonetheless possesses a small but significant dose of celebrity wattage. Yolanda actually thinks that the secluded and difficult-to-access locale (Topanga lies in the rugged hills between Malibu and the San Fernando Valley) plays a big part in that. Celebrities that aren’t named Kardashian love hiding out from the paparazzi. And then, of course, there’s the neighborhood’s longtime rep as a bohemian enclave with all sorts of famous artsy folks. Current residents reportedly include Lisa Bonet, Robert Trujillo, and Rick Schroder.
Now add today’s house to the celebrity-owned pile. Renovated and/or assembled by music producer Danny Elfman in the 1990s, the house passed through the hands of several different owners — an actor, an interior designer, a venture capitalist — before eventually becoming that so LA thing of all LA things: a rehab center called Doron’s House.
In April of last year, the house-cum-treatment-center was put up for sale with an asking price of $2,595,000. After several months, the pricetag parachuted down to $1,995,000. In January (2017), at long last, the property transferred for $1,938,000 to a mysterious blind trust. Naturally, Yolanda’s friend Vlad the Revealer was curious about the identity of the new owner, and it wasn’t long before we discovered the shy individual is a talented young(ish) actor named Pablo Schreiber.
38-year-old Mr. Schreiber already sports quite the varied acting resume — he’s a Tony-nominated Broadway actor and has starred on big TV programs such as Law and Order: SVU and The Brink. However, Mr. Schreiber is best-known to Yolanda (and most other folks) for his darkly funny portrayal of George “Pornstache” Mendez on the addictive Netflix show Orange is the New Black.
From the narrow public road out front, the property presents as little more than a comically modest one-room shack. It’s all a facade, however, as the “room” is actually just a doorway to Narnia — or rather some steps that lead down, down, down to a mini-compound comprised of a multi-story main house and an itsy-bitsy casita. All told, there are 5 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms in a total of 4,680-square-feet of living space.
In addition to the wonderful seclusion and privacy, perhaps the best feature of the property is an all-natural year-round waterfall and creek that gurgles on down the rocky hillside next to the house. And in keeping with the natural/rustic theme, there also ain’t no garage. single-car wooden carport and attached shed up near street level.
Things are kept weird inside with leopard-print carpeting, a rather disturbing shade of lavender in a bathroom, and a caveman-like area with a primitive fireplace and chimney.
Other parts of the house have clearly been renovated. There’s a large living room with a vaulted ceiling and piano-black hardwood floors.
The kitchen is far too Flinstones-y for Yolanda, but we suppose it works with the overall vibe of the property. Elsewhere there’s a charming windowed dining room and a brick-tiled patio.
There’s plenty of nature space on the .75-acre property. A pea-gravel terrace sports a standalone stone fireplace and the house itself appears to have at least one tree growing through it. Native sycamore trees add to the scenic beauty.
Mr. Schreiber, bless his real estate heart, is not new to the Topanga community. Just last year he paid a scant $317,000 for a mobile home not far from his new mini-compound. Yes, you read that correctly. Mr. Schreiber lives in a Topanga trailer park. Or — more accurately — he lived in a Topanga trailer park. Property records show his mobile home was quietly sold again for $360,000 in November 2016. Way to keep it real for a whole eight months, Mr. Schreiber.
Oh, and that Mr. Schreiber would be drawn to an offbeat community like Topanga ain’t particularly a surprise. After all, he was birthed in a British Columbian hippie commune to an actor father and a psychotherapist mama (who also sired his arguably more famous older brother Liev Schreiber). Doesn’t get much more hippie-tastic than that.