Leto hitchhikes for new album America

Jared Leto
Jared Leto

LOS ANGELES • Jared Leto is not short of money but he still hitchhiked in the cold rain and rode a crowded long-haul Greyhound bus to promote his band's latest album.

As the Oscar-winning actor put it, it was also a mad dash of "planes, trains and automobiles" to drum up publicity for the Thirty Seconds To Mars album called America, taking in a five-day sojourn from New York to Los Angeles.

Leto, 46, who is the band's singer, said he used the 4,500km foray to connect with everyday Americans along the way.

"I don't ever use that dirty word for myself - celebrity - but it was very grounding," he added. "And I think it just reminds you that we're all connected, that we all have our challenges... (and) our dreams."

He said his journey taught him that despite the current political polarisation in the United States, he found a sense of shared purpose among ordinary folk.

"I saw a lot of kindness, a lot of generosity. It was inspiring."

The actor, who won an Oscar for his role as an HIV-positive transgender woman in 2013 drama Dallas Buyers Club, is also directing a documentary, A Day In The Life Of America, in which he explores the lives of different Americans on US Independence Day, July 4, 2017.

It was not his first trip across the country. "I had done it when I was a kid as an art school dropout and heading to Los Angeles... I had a backpack on and a couple of hundred bucks and it changed my life, so it was fun to go back and take that journey again," he said.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2018, with the headline 'Leto hitchhikes for new album America'. Print Edition | Subscribe