If you have ever been making your way downtown, and/or walking fast, and/or homebound, and especially if faces pass, you know the feeling Vanessa Carlton poetically and famously described in her hit song, “A Thousand Miles.” It’s a song about having someone on your mind and feeling like your desire for them could move you to extremes–in a good way! The happiness of finding someone you’d do anything for. But who inspired such elation in Carlton?
As the song turns 20 years old (Where did the time go?!), she’s giving us a big hint: a now-famous actor who attended Juilliard’s drama program.
“The song is about a crush I had on a Juilliard student,” Carlton told Entertainment Tonight, adding, “I can’t say the person’s name because they are a famous actor and I don’t want to say it… I’m purposefully, I’m not attaching a gender and it will remain like that.”
So, who is the song about? Naturally, the internet is now engaging in a bit of good-natured theorizing. Now-famous Juilliard students of the “A Thousand Miles” era (she wrote it as a teenager, though it wasn’t released until a few years later) include Jessica Chastain, Oscar Isaac, Christian Camargo, David Conrad, Glenn Howerton, Wes Bentley, and Alan Tudyk. Users on Reddit have come to the consensus that it’s likely Bentley. .The evidence? Bentley is only two years older than Carlton, so they could’ve been in New York City at the same time. (Carlson briefly attended Columbia University.) Also, a Vanessa Carlton Facebook fan group page alleges Bentley is the inspiration. Again, take all this with a grain of salt.
She talks more about the song in Vice’s documentary, which you can watch here. Whoever the song is about, they’re one lucky actor, because this tune remains and unparalleled crush anthem. And the ultimate karaoke moment!