Spacebound: Leonardo DiCaprio acknowledges the audience at the opening of the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival.
If you thought $200,000 was a lot to pay for a Virgin Galactic flight to the edge of space, try $1.5 million. Do note, however, that the steep ticket price includes Leo DiCaprio as your travel buddy.
A bidder at a Cannes charity auction agreed to fork out that much for a seat in space beside the star who played flight-mad Howard Hughes in “The Aviator.” The money will benefit amfARa Cinema Against AIDS, hosted by amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.
The winning bid was made by 37-year-old Vasily Klyukin, a Russian living in Monaco, according to Reuters.
“I want to be a bit daring,” Klyukin was quoted as saying. “I will have to give up smoking now for sure!”
DiCaprio and Klyukin are expected to board a Virgin Galactic flight along with a bidder who bought two other tickets on the voyage for $2.3 million.
“The Great Gatsby” star would spend three days with Klyukin while training for the trip, host Sharon Stone told the audience.
In a successful test last month, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo space plane fired its rocket engine and hit Mach 1.2.
Founder Sir Richard Branson said the vehicle’s key components had been proven, adding he expects “full space flight” by the end of 2013.
The auction at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in France’s Cap d’Antibes raised some $25 million for AIDS research and also auctioned off a private performance by Duran Duran, as well as a family portrait sitting with photographer Annie Leibovitz. …
Is Klyuki an aspiring actor besides being a real estate agent?
Vasily Klyukin, 37, a Russian real estate agent living in Monaco, entered the winning bid of 1.2 million euros ($1.55 million) to accompany DiCaprio on a Virgin Galactic flight into space. Klyukin will spend three days training with DiCaprio in New Mexico prior to the launch.