Today in action-packed (publicity) stunts: Jared Leto climbed the Empire State Building.
In real life. Not just for a movie or TV show, even though cameras were very much rolling.
Crossing the climb off this bucket list, the Oscar winner and 30 Seconds to Mars frontman became the first person to legally reach the top of the outside of the New York landmark. He did it to plug his band’s upcoming world tour.
“I made it. I’m alive. I made it to the top,” Leto said on NBC’s “Today” show, which he visited immediately after the feat “in celebration of the tour and doing those things you aspire to do.”
According to landmark officials, Leto is the first person to ever legally climb to the top of the building, “Today” reported.
The 51-year-old, who loves to climb, said he’s always “had a fascination” with the 1930s building. Although the early part of the ascension was challenging — and the Art Deco structure’s sharp corner bloodied his left hand — it was worth it, he said.
“It’s incredible,” the “Suicide Squad” and “Morbius” actor said. “To watch the sun rise overlooking the city — it’s meant so much to me. Ever since I was a kid, New York stood for the place that you went to make your dreams come true.
“And as a young kid, I wanted to be an artist, and New York was the place that you came to be an artist. And the Empire State Building was always that symbol for me.”
The actor made the roughly 20-minute climb up the eastern side of the 102-floor building, beginning at the observation deck on the 86th floor and scaling his way up to what’s called the 104th floor — the part of the building that lights up. From there, he climbed three tiers to the ice shield — the base of the building’s iconic antenna, according to “Today.” Leto said he was about 1,200 feet up. (The building soars 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan.)
“I was more excited than nervous, to tell you the truth,” he said. “But I have to be honest, it was very, very hard. It was very hard. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. … Just the endurance that it took, the stamina that it took, and it was very sharp.”
Leto joked that after this, he would be climbing “into bed.”
“Today” co-host Carson Daly reminded Leto that the 118-day actors’ strike had just ended, meaning he doesn’t have to spend his time climbing buildings anymore.
“That’s right. I can get back to work,” Leto replied.
Instagram credit: Renan Ozturk
The performer, who apparently had a lot of time on his hands during the SAG-AFTRA strike, will tour the globe from March to September 2024. A spokesman for Leto told The Times on Thursday that the actor “will be filming before the tour starts” but couldn’t provide details on those projects yet.
“The building is a testament of all the things that can be done in the world if we put our minds to it, which is largely the inspiration behind our most recent album, ‘It’s the End of the World but It’s a Beautiful Day,’” Leto said in a separate statement.
“In a lot of ways, this album is about following your dreams and pushing yourself to do the seemingly impossible,” he added in an Instagram post that featured footage from the climb. “Climbing the Empire State Building certainly falls into that category for me. As does touring the world with my brother and sharing these unforgettable concerts and experiences with you all.”
The film star and his brother Shannon comprise 30 Seconds to Mars. The Seasons 2024 world tour marks their first headlining tour in five years.
The tour kicks off in Latin America, with festival performances at Lollapalooza in Argentina and Chile from March 15 to 17, then the band hits Colombia, Brazil and Mexico. The 28-show European leg kicks off in Glasgow on April 16 and wraps in Spain on June 1.
After that, the band heads to North America, launching that trek in Auburn, Wash., on July 26 and wrapping with a show at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, Calif., on Sept. 4. The group will be joined by rock band AFI along with support from Poppy and KennyHoopla across those 24 shows. From there, the tour heads to Australia and New Zealand.
Presale for the North American leg begins Friday, and general on-sale begins Nov. 17.