Say you can comfortably afford a trip into outer space, as some of you might. How much is too much? The bare bones trip for a ride on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic ship will now set you back around $250,000. For a relatively exclusive activity, that isn’t the most outlandish price out there. But you don’t want to sit next to some crying baby or guy who crossed obesity with completely hygenic memory loss. You want to sit next to somebody cool, like maybe a movie star.
A recent Cannes charity auction at the amFAR Cinema Against AIDS charity dinner featured seats on a Virgin flight, and the winning bid for one of them went for the slightly ridiculous sum of 1.2 million euros ($1.5 million U.S. dollars), while another pair of tickets on the same flight were sold for 1.8 million euros ($2.3 million). The high prices were mostly due to the person sitting in the fourth seat, Academy Award nominee Leonardo DiCaprio, whose only contribution to sci-fi cinema was Inception as far as I can tell.
Harvey Weinstein was involved with the auction, and he and DiCaprio were there for the dinner, joined by Cannes jurors Christoph Waltz and Nicole Kidman. Weinstein took a humorous jab at the the seemingly ageless DiCaprio, saying a lot of people in the movie industry would like to see him go to space as well, “but only a one way ticket.” Ka-boom, Leo.
Personally, I really dig DiCaprio in just about everything he does, and I think people who still hold Titanic against him are naive at best. While I wouldn’t want to be stuck on a sinking ship with the guy, going into space with him seems like a fine way to spend some time. Hopefully he won’t mind me squealing in his ear.