These days, album releases are mostly marked by talk show appearances and social media posts. Jared Leto, though, is taking it one step further. The actor is currently hitchhiking across America to promote his band Thirty Seconds to Mars' album, appropriately titled America, which drops this Friday.
Yes, the next hitchhiker you come across could be the Oscar-winning actor. Leto opened up about the journey to Ryan Seacrest, telling the radio host, “It’s a pretty big adventure. I’m going to hitchhike, among other things, across the country from New York City to Los Angeles. I’m going to jump on a donkey in the Grand Canyon or take a hot air balloon.”
Why the "adventure"? “It’s better than putting out a press release,” Leto told the Chicago Tribune after performing at the city's Willis Tower Skydeck. “We worked five years on this album, so we thought we’d do something a little more fun, a little more adventurous.”
So far, he's made a few friends along the way. “Today, I was in Ohio and I met a trucker from Milwaukee," he told the Tribune. "He took me on a ride in the 18-wheeler. He was great. He shared his thoughts about America and the current climate, and his hopes and his dreams. It’s really beautiful to get out and see what people are really thinking and not what we see on the news every day, and not what’s making the headlines necessarily."
Leto has also hitchhiked in Wisconsin, as he revealed to Good Morning America per ABC. "It's been a mad dash," he said. "It's been really great. I hitchhiked yesterday and got picked up by a trucker from Wisconsin and it was great just to hear his story, to hear his thoughts on America, and it's certainly eye-opening and you meet such incredible people across the country. It's amazing."
As for his fixation on America, Leto revealed to Entertainment Weekly that he "always wanted to make an album based on the concept of America—to explore the good, bad, and the ugly."
"It’s a really important time in our country," he said. "There is a lot to talk about. We are in a period of great change, of instability, of uncertainty, but also of hope and possibility." Let us all hope that the next time we see someone flagging down a car on the side of the road, it's Jared Leto.