Yes, That Was Jared Leto Climbing New York's Empire State Building

Jared Leto was one with the birds when he climbed the top of the Empire State Building on Nov. 9. Find out what he had to say about the experience, and why exactly he did it.

By Hayley Santaflorentina Nov 09, 2023 3:51 PMTags
Watch: Why Jared Leto Climbed the Empire State Building

If you walked by the Empire State Building on the morning of Nov. 9, you were greeted with an unusual sight. 

No it wasn't a bird, nor a plane that you saw—but rather it was Jared Leto climbing the top 18 floors of the iconic New York City landmark. In fact, he ascended 1200 feet into the air, all the way to the ice shield at the base of the building's spire.

"I was more excited than nervous to tell you the truth," the Morbius actor told Today of his experience upon returning to the ground. "But I have to be honest, it was very very hard. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. You know just the endurance that it took, the stamina that it took, and it was very sharp."

But despite the difficulties—which included cuts to his palms—the view of a city with personal significance to the 51-year-old was worth it.

"It was incredible, to watch the sunrise overlooking this city that's meant so much to me," Jared noted. "Ever since I was a kid you know New York stood for the place 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." 

Jared Leto's Most Extreme Transformations

So what exactly inspired the Suicide Squad actor to take on this particular endeavor? In part, it was an homage to the newest project from his and brother Shannon Leto's band 30 Seconds to Mars.

"I've always had a fascination with the Empire State Building," Jared explained. "And I love to climb. And we're launching a world tour, 30 Seconds to Mars is back on the road. We just put an album out called 'It's the End of the World but a Beautiful Day,' so it was in celebration of the tour, and doing those things that you aspire to do." 

The Academy Award winner previously spoke to E! News about this new musical project

"This is a very intimate, very vulnerable, very revealing album," the band's frontman told E! News' Francesca Amiker in a Sept. 12 interview. "Love is war, some people would say. Love is complicated. Love is a delicate thing. But I did pour a lot of that [into these songs]. I talk about those things pretty openly on the album."

Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

Hot on the heels of the album's Sept. 15 release, and with a 2024 world tour on the horizon and the Empire State Building in his rearview mirror, Jared is ready for a breather.

So when Today's Craig Melvin asked him where one climbs after such an accomplishment, Jared quipped, "Oh, into bed. You climb right into bed."

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