Jared Leto dug deep into his contacts list to assemble the cast for Thirty Seconds to Mars' new video for "City of Angels," a track off their 2013 album Love Lust Faith and Dreams.
Right from the get-go, the video opens with Kanye West naming everything he likes about Los Angeles: "Pools, 1950s architectural homes, glamour, muscle cars" and on and on. Throughout the 11-minute clip, over the rock trio's poppy, synth-textured track, West and a variety of other talking heads share their feelings about the city. Among them: Lindsay Lohan, Olivia Wilde, James Franco, Juliette Lewis, Steve Nash, Ashley Olsen, Juliette Lewis, Selena Gomez, Corey Feldman, Alan Cumming and each member of the band. Each provides a generally fascinating take on how Los Angeles shaped their lives.
In his own confessional, Leto says, "I wouldn't have anything if it wasn't for this city." Gomez says, "I'm a Disney kid. People try to tell me what to do every single day. I think they think I'm goody-goody, I'm boring, that I'm a fame whore, that I use people." West says, "People let their frustrations out on me. 'I love Kanye West' – they say the opposite of that. But I'm not gonna say that. I'm only gonna say what I want to put into the universe." Feldman talks about the financial burdens of being a child actor. Olsen opines on the fleeting nature of fame. Lewis and Franco talk about managing dreams and expectations. Cumming simply says, "Well, I don't like it."
"I made this short film so I could share my thoughts on this incredibly special place and talk to others about theirs," said Leto in a statement. "It's not so much about this particular city but more about the people who inhabit it. This is for the dreamers who know that sometimes the impossible is indeed possible."
The video is billed as a "Bartholomew Cubbins Film" but, as we recently learned, that's a pseudonym of Leto's. He borrowed the name from a Dr. Seuss book so people would not picture him when they read the name. Leto told Rolling Stone, "I made up the story that he's some insanely obnoxious Danish albino."