Talk about being “The King of the World!” Leonardo DiCaprio is going to get closer to stars of a different kind as he heads into space aboard the Virgin Galactic, and an affluent bidder at the Cannes Film Festival has paid $1.5 million to be his travel companion.
The winner, 37-year-old Vasily Klyukin, will be among the first of 1,000 people to travel into space aboard Sir Richard Branson’s spacecraft. Normal seats on the flight go for $200,000-a-piece.
The Hollywood star’s sub-orbital trip was among 20 goodies up for grabs at the 20th amfAR bash, a gala auction that is one of the glitziest festival events and that this year helped raise a record-breaking $25 million for AIDS research.
Other big-ticket items were a role as an extra in four Hollywood movies, including a feature starring DiCaprio; two VIP seats for the 2014 Oscars awards; a private acoustic concert for 45 people by Simon Le Bon and John Taylor of Duran Duran; and a game of six-a-side against a team led by Zinedine Zidane.
DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman, Janet Jackson, Jessica Chastain, Kylie Minogue, Audrey Tautou, Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, Kristin Scott Thomas and Paris Hilton were among the 900 people who attended the charity dinner event at Antibes’ Eden Roc hotel.
Entertainment was provided by Duran Duran, who played their classic “Girls on Film,” Shirley Bassey, who sang the signature Bond song “Goldfinger,” and American Music Awards winner Hot Chelle Rae performed their smash “Tonight, Tonight.”
This year’s auction raked in more than twice the amount collected in 2012. Since 1993, the gala has raised $120 million.