Many know Mike Fleiss from his spooky flick Hostel and considerable fleet of bingeworthy reality shows. However, some might be surprised to know he’s an avid sport fisherman, has a penchant for pets on sets, and had a headline-making bear make an unscheduled appearance in his backyard. Yes, you read that right. He’s from the famous area of Montecito, California, where A-listers reside — and apparently, so does a bear on the lam.
“We had a giant bear in our backyard in Montecito, which is very unusual and very close to Meghan [the Duchess of Sussex] and [Prince] Harry and all those very important celebrities, Oprah [Winfrey] and everybody,” Fleiss reveals.
While he jokingly mentions some might not care if he got attacked by the massive mammal, he believes many would be earnestly concerned if one of his famous neighbors got mauled. The ambitious Hollywood executive even used his cellphone to capture footage of the beast.
“It’s a cute bear,” he says.
What’s cuter than the average bear? Fleiss says it’s a Rottweiler — he loves the big dog breed and frequently takes one to work with him. His beloved pooches Ozzy and Magic have sadly crossed the rainbow bridge, but his current cuddly rottie is filling in the void, even though she “vomited in my car yesterday while we were driving back from Malibu,” Fleiss shares. “I think she got carsick or something because I was driving kind of fast and just as we were pulling into the house, I’m like, that smells worse than just her normal dog breath and I looked in the back seat, ugh, man.”
When he’s not tracking the bears around his California digs or cleaning up a puppy mess in his car, Mike Fleiss can be found indulging in his love for surfing and fishing. He says he’s heading to Mexico this month to do some fishing.
“I’m an avid fisherman, so me and a bunch of my friends are entering the Bisbee, which is the biggest, richest fishing tournament in the world,” Fleiss shares. “We’re doing that in October, down in Mexico.”
According to bisbees.com, these tournaments have been happening in the Los Cabos region of the Baja Peninsula, Mexico, for more than three decades.
So far, Mike Fleiss says a 280-pound tuna is his biggest, most brag-worthy catch.
In addition to enjoying the ocean blue, Fleiss is investing in his craving for jalapeno peppers. He’s been spicing up people’s lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon, with Toreados, a Tex-Mex restaurant he opened. The restaurant is named after chiles toreados, a piquant dish made with the Mexican jalapenos Mike Fleiss adores.
“We’re trying to keep it really bright, fresh,” Toreados bar manager Trevor Thorpe told AM Extra. “Obviously, you’ve got some great smoke on [executive chef] Marcus’ food and delicious flavors. The best cocktails to complement that are going to be citrusy.”
Mike Fleiss hopes to eventually make jalapenos a more common condiment everywhere.
“It’s always been my dream to sell grilled jalapenos,” Fleiss confesses. “I’ve had this idea forever and ever and ever, and now it’s sort of come to, it’s a dream come true to see this restaurant and doing well.”