Jared Leto got about 30 seconds closer to Mars on Thursday when he scaled an iconic New York landmark.
The actor and singer climbed a portion of the outside of the Empire State Building on Nov. 9, making a journey to the top of one of the world’s signature skyscrapers. He then spoke about it in an exclusive interview with TODAY.
“I was more excited than nervous to tell you the truth,” Leto said. “But I have to be honest, it was very, 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, 51, showed off the evidence of those sharp corners when he held up his bloody left hand.
He said he attempted the feat to cross off a coveted item on his bucket list, and also to promote the upcoming world tour of his band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, that will run from March to September in 2024.
“It’s incredible,” he said. “To watch the sun rise overlooking the city that’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 “WeCrashed” star climbed the east side of the building from floors 86 to 104, a roughly 20-minute climb to a point nearly 1,300 feet up in the air.
Leto reached the part of the building that lights up and then climbed all three of its tiers until he completed his ascent at the ice shield, which is at the base of the building’s famous antenna.
He also received an emotional boost along the way.
“I made it to the top, and I was just saying, I saw my mother in the window of the 80th floor, and that was a nice surprise,” Leto said.
He is the first person to ever legally climb to the top of the Empire State Building, officials for the landmark confirmed to TODAY. (Daredevil Alain Robert, aka “the French Spider-Man,” scaled the building in an unsanctioned climb in 1994.)
“I’ve always had a fascination with the Empire State Building,” he said. “And I love to climb.”
During his ascent, the “House of Gucci” actor was in full climbing gear with ropes that secured him in case he lost his grip.
Craig Melvin then asked him where he will climb next after conquering the Empire State Building.
“Into bed,” Leto joked. “You climb right into bed.”
While he is fond of national parks like Yosemite, Leto particularly enjoys urban climbing.
“I do like to climb buildings in cities,” he said. “It’s a really fun thing to do.”
The upcoming tour is in support of the sixth studio album for Thirty Seconds to Mars, the rock band Leto formed in 1998 with his older brother, Shannon. The group released “It’s the End of the World but It’s a Beautiful Day” in September.
The “Morbius” star’s King Kong moment on the Empire State Building was just his latest daredevil moment.
The actor and singer’s past stunts include scaling a hotel wall in Berlin without a harness and bungee jumping onto his concert stage in front of thousands. He’s also shared videos on Instagram of him scaling a hotel wall in Berlin with no harness and bungee jumping into a massive crowd at a Thirty Seconds to Mars concert.
Leto is also an accomplished rock climber who counts “Free Solo” star and legendary climber Alex Honnold as a friend. He directed a five-part documentary in 2016 called “Great Wide Open” in which he explored several of the country’s iconic national parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone.
When he’s not rock climbing, acting or walking a runway, he can be found on stage. The upcoming tour for Thirty Seconds to Mars —their first headline tour in five years — will run across Latin America, Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.