Yolanda does not watch much TV — we prefer to lounge poolside or sip white wine at a quaint roadside cafe during our spare time. But one of the (very) few shows we actually check for is NetFlix’s sublime Stranger Things. A friend suggested it back in the day. Halfway through the first episode, we were hooked. It’s that good!
Anyway, one of the show’s executive producers is Shawn Levy. If any of y’all pay attention to entertainment industry news, you may know that Mr. Levy recently became a very rich man when he inked an exclusive, multi-year development deal with Netflix. Although terms of the deal were not (publicly) disclosed, we are sure Mr. Levy no longer worries about his grocery bills. Stranger Things is Netflix’s crown jewel, after all.
But Mr. Levy was already wealthy long before his little Netflix show was a twinkle in the Duffer Brothers‘ eyes. In fact, he has been one of Hollywood’s wealthiest directors for many moons, thanks to a whole crapload of financially successful — if critically lambasted — comedy films. These include the likes of Big Fat Liar (2002), Cheaper by the Dozen(2003), The Pink Panther (2006), and Night at the Museum (2006).
Mr. Levy’s films have long been considered low-brow humor (and we suppose they kinda are). Thus, despite his films’ popularity with audiences, the fancy award shows used to regularly snub him. But in recent years, his productions have finally engendered critical praise. In 2016, he was nominated for an Academy Award for producing the acclaimed sci-fi film Arrival. And then, of course, there is Stranger Things. S.T. is a critical darling! Who said Yolanda doesn’t have good taste?
On the personal front, Mr. Levy was born and raised in Canada (damn, that sucks). He has been married to his wife Serena for about 20 years, and the couple have four daughters. (Horrors! That’s a lot of estrogen.)
Just kidding. Our sponsors would like us to note that Canada is a beautiful place and we have much love for all our Canadian readers. And to any young gurls (and boys, for that matter) who might be reading this: don’t forget to show your parentals some love and appreciation! Lord knows y’all are a handful.
But we digress. The reason we write about Mr. Levy is because he just spent a bundle for a house in one of LA’s poshest neighborhoods: Brentwood Park, over on the Westside. Records reveal that the Levys used a blind trust to pay $10,750,000 for a clapboard-sided Traditional on one of the area’s best streets.
Records also show the 1996-built structure was sold by prominent film colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld and last transferred back in 2007 for $10.5 million, so it does not appear that any significant profit was made on the most recent transaction.
Unfortunately, this sale went down totally off-market and thus we have no current pictures of the residence to share with y’all. But during our research, your gurl stumbled across an old rental listing from a few years back.
Ye olde listing indicates that the “magnificent Nantucket home” has 6 beds and 5 baths in a generous 7,754-square feet of living space. A double-gated driveway leads past a grassy lawn (and an ivy-covered children’s playhouse) to the front-facing two-car garage. The motorcourt has additional parking space for several more vehicles.
Trendy ebonized hardwood floors flow throughout the house, which naturally includes the expected array of luxury features: there are five fireplaces, a private office, a kitchen sporting high-end appliances, a downstairs gym, and an upstairs master suite featuring a sitting area, private balcony overlooking the backyard, walk-in closet, and a large bathroom with a built-in soaking tub.
French doors on the ground level lead to the property’s painstakingly landscaped backyard. Stone pathways meander past green lawns and clipped boxwoods to a very long rectangular swimming pool w/ inset spa. Also out back are several sitting areas and a detached professional screening studio — it looks like a guesthouse, but inside it’s just one big deluxe place to watch movies. Pretty cool! (And perfect for the Levy fam).
Brentwood Park is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in LA — as such, Mr. Levy’s new neighbors are all very wealthy. Many are famous, too. Directly across the street from his new house is a Spanish hacienda-style residence that was occupied during the 1930s by Greta Garbo and since 2001 has been owned by actress Helen Hunt. Two doors away from Ms. Hunt’s house is Tobey Maguire’s new $13 million mansion. Also within walking distance are the extravagant homes of Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff, South Park’s Trey Parker, James Corden, Christian Bale, and on and on.
By the way, this is not Mr. Levy’s first time on the Brentwood real estate rodeo. Nor is this the most expensive house he has owned in the neighborhood, in fact.
Back in 2010, Mr. Levy paid $13,125,000 for a large tennis court estate near the mouth of Brentwood’s rustic Mandeville Canyon neighborhood. He then hired his neighbor — acclaimed “lifestyle architect” Windsor Smith — to give the ol’ gurl a makeover in her signature “contemporary traditional” style. And Ms. Smith did just that.
And guess what? It paid off for Mr. Levy. As Yolanda told y’all a couple years ago, Mr. Levy eventually sold that house in a quiet off-market deal for a whopping $16,650,000. The buyer, in case anyone is too lazy to read our previous story, was musician Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails fame.
Unfortunately for Mr. Reznor, living at his $16 million house in Brentwood hasn’t been all lollipops and rainbows. According to The Blast, Mr. Reznor (and his family and friends) have (allegedly) been harassed by his neighbor across the street — a man named Nader Afshar. Things have gotten so bad, apparently, that Mr. Reznor was granted a restraining order against Mr. Afshar. Court documents reveal a series of (alleged) bizarre behavior on Mr. Afshar’s part — apparently he once yelled “rich people can do anything they want, but the Lord will get them in the end,” at Mr. Reznor while wearing a Santa hat.
Yolanda recalls that the Lord also said something about loving thy neighbor, but maybe Mr. Afshar skipped that particular sermon.