What Ever Happened To Spy Kids Star Alexa Vega?

The actress is still only 28, and poised for a Hollywood comeback.

Spy Kids star Alexa Vega
Alexa Vega The Spy Kids star Image Getty Images/Alberto E. Rodriguez

Who didn’t love Spy Kids when they were growing up?

The movie became a cult kids classic back in 2001, and presented a fun, goofy take on the spy thriller genre.

Carla Gugino, Antonio Banderas, Teri Hatcher, Danny Trejo and Alan Cumming all appeared in the kids movie back in 2001, but it wasn’t an A-lister that stole the show…

Instead, a young Alexa Vega – just 11 at the time – more than held her own alongside the stars of the film, and established herself as one of the most talented young stars in the industry.

The film, despite the dodgy early 00s CGI, remains a favourite amongst cinema goers of a certain age. However, it’s got loaded thinking: what happened to Alexa Vega?

Alexa – full name Alexa PenaVega – was actually a prolific child star from an incredibly early age, starring in loads of shows such as ER way before Spy Kids came along.

After her breakthrough role as the feisty protagonist Carmen Cortez in the film, she stayed loyal to the series, and went on to appear in Spy Kids 2 and Spy Kids 3-D.

That reminds us – looking back, Spy Kids 3-D is an incredibly odd film: It sees Alexa star as Carmen, who is trapped in a virtual reality game, designed by an evil ‘toymaker’, played by none other than Sylvester Stallone.

Stallone basically goes off on one during the film, and spends the whole time dressing up in a range of different, and increasingly stupid costumes. The whole thing was pretty strange, and it put a hold on the series for a long, long time.

So what did that mean for Alexa? Well, after finding success in the film series, Alexa struggled to nail a role in another big movie straight away.

Instead, her next major projects came years later in 2008’s Repo! The Genetic Opera, as well as ABC series Ruby & The Rockits in 2009.  

Surprisingly, the Spy Kids then made a comeback for Spy Kids: All The Time In The World in 2011, which – to be honest – we’d totally forgotten even existed.

Alexa reprised her role, alongside the likes of newcomers Jessica Alba, Jeremy Piven, Community star Joel McHale, and Ricky Gervais believe it or not.

One of her biggest roles to date came in 2014, when she landed a part in ABC series Nashville, where she had a recurring role as Kiley Brenner.

Spy Kids star Alexa Vega
Alexa Vega The Spy Kids star Image Getty Images/Michael Kovac

As well as being an actress, Alexa is also a talented singer, and recorded three songs for the soundtrack of Spy Kids.

After spending time out of the limelight, her profile increased back in 2015 when she became a contestant on Dancing With The Stars, where she finished in 6th place.

Recently, Alexa has taken a little time out of the industry, after welcoming a baby boy with her second husband Carlos Pena Jr in December 2016.

At the age of just 28, Alexa is poised for a comeback of sorts, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see her land another huge film or TV role very soon.

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Loaded staff writer Harry Fletcher has covered news, sport and entertainment for several major websites across the UK. Follow him on Twitter at @Harry__Fletcher.