Jared Leto Climbs The Empire State Building In Terrifying Stunt

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Published

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Jared Leto, the enigmatic actor and frontman of Thirty Seconds to Mars, achieved new heights—quite literally—on Thursday as he scaled the iconic Empire State Building. Leto is the first person to scale New York’s most iconic building legally and he did it to both accomplish a bucket list dream and to promote an upcoming tour for his band. In an exclusive interview with TODAY, Leto shared the gritty details of his ascent and the surprising challenges he faced.

Jared Leto Makes History Climbing The Empire State Building

The 51-year-old artist, known for his roles in the Jean-Marc Vallée directed biopic Dallas Buyers Club and Apple TV+’s drama series WeCrashed, achieved something no other human had previously accomplished: watching the sun come up from the highest point on the Empire State Building. Jared Leto started his climb on the 86th floor and then scaled the Empire State Building to the 104th floor while helicopters circled around the building to film the stunt. You can see him scaling the building in the above image, courtesy of his Instagram feed.

The Actor Accomplished The Task In 20 Minutes

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“I was more excited than nervous, to tell you the truth,” Jared Leto confessed. “But I have to be honest, it was very, very hard.” Leto, who is an experienced climber and who has a particular passion for scaling buildings, said that climbing the Empire State Building was much more difficult than he’d expected, as well as quite painful. He held up a bloody hand to the camera, showcasing how sharp the building’s edges are.

In total, it took Jared Leto about 20 minutes to scale the iconic structure. The Morbius actor climbed 18 floors, taking him to the building’s summit at nearly 1,300 feet above the asphalt streets of New York’s Midtown below.

Leto Completes A Lifelong Goal

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For Jared Leto, the Empire State Building isn’t just any building climb. The structure holds a deep personal significance to the actor who views the building as a symbol representing his ambitions. “Ever since I was a kid, New York stood for the place that you went to make your dreams come true,” Leto explained, saying that since he was a kid he wanted to be an artist, and New York was the city that could make that happen.

But Jared Leto’s climb wasn’t just a personal triumph; it made history. Officials for the landmark confirmed that he is the first person ever to legally climb to the top of the Empire State Building.

Equipped with climbing gear and secured by ropes, Jared Leto navigated the building’s sharp corners and reached the top, where he unexpectedly spotted his mother in a window on the 80th floor. The actor described the moment as a “nice surprise” that likely made the experience even more heartwarming and memorable.

The Climb Also Served To Promote Thirty Seconds To Mars’ Tour

Scaling one of the world’s most famous buildings is certainly a good strategy for getting a buzz going about Thirty Seconds to Mars’ upcoming tour. 2024 will mark the band’s return to the stage after a five-year hiatus and they will tour throughout Latin America, Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand. Jared Leto sings the lead vocals for the band, as well as plays guitar, bass, and keyboards. Their most recent album called It’s the End of the World but It’s a Beautiful Day, was released in September and marks the band’s sixth studio album since their inception in 1998.

What’s Next?

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Jared Leto has always been one of the stranger celebrities in Hollywood. While he’s an actor known for taking method acting a little too far, he’s also a man of many talents. From acting, singing, and playing music, to scaling famous buildings, there’s just no telling what Leto might do next.