Spy Kids star Alexa PenaVega's incredible transformation

·3-min read

Alexa PenaVega was just 12 years old when she filmed Spy Kids.

Although it wasn't her first Hollywood blockbuster (she was in the 1996 film Twister), Spy Kids was where she made her name as Carmen Cortez.

The film was so popular it spawned three sequels.

They led not only to an acting but a singing career – Alexa recorded three songs for the original soundtrack of Spy Kids.

Believe it or not, it has been 21 years since the original Spy Kids and Alexa is now 33, with her own kids.

Two images showing Alexa in stills from Spy Kids and with her onscreen brother played by Daryl Sabara. In the first image she grimaces at something off shot and in the second she reads a book.
Alexa in Spy Kids and with her onscreen brother played by Daryl Sabara. Photo: YouTube/@MovieclipsCLASSICTRAILERS


And while Alexa continued to act until just before the pandemic struck, she now lives a low-key life with her family in Hawaii.

Spy Kids Daryl Sabara, in a red and orange shirt, and Alexa Vega in a dark singlet and green camo pants, hug on the red carpet with the Nickelodeon logo on the wall behind.
Spy Kids stars Daryl Sabara and Alexa Vega at a red carpet event. Photo: Getty Images

Alexa, who has always had a strong Christian faith, met second husband, fellow actor and musician Carlos Pena Jr., during a bible study group in 2012 in LA.

The couple married at the beginning of 2014, combining their surnames to both become known as PenaVega.

"We both met each other at this foundation-building point in our lives, where we were both really hungry to grow in our faith," Alexa reveals.

"That’s how our relationship started.

"It was amazing because our entire relationship was based on bible studies, church and our faith."

Actress Alexa PenaVega wearing a brown and cream toned animal print outfit with long brown hair worn loose, smiles at the camera, standing in a garden with a barn door behind.
Actress Alexa PenaVega has been starring in Hallmark movies as has husband Carlos PenaVega. Photo: Getty Images

With her new found strength and faith, she was able to reveal her struggles with eating disorders.

"I was living with this secret that I was really ashamed of. I was praised whenever I looked skinnier and if I didn’t look as skinny one day, nobody would compliment me," she revealed during an episode of the Whoa That’s Good podcast in June.

"I started thriving on what other people thought of me, instead of focusing in on God."

It was her faith that helped her defeat her demons.

With a partner who understood the industry, the couple decided making Hallmark movies was something they both wanted.

"Carlos and I want to be able to do films that our families are proud of and everybody can watch," she told Glamour in 2018.

"They just feel good, and Hallmark has been that place for us.

"They're all about family, and they want to keep [me and Carlos] working together."

While continuing to work in Hollywood was something Alexa and Carlos wanted, staying in LA wasn't, so they moved to Hawaii in 2016.

Alexa and Carlos hug and kiss on the beach at left; at right they sit at an outside table with Alexa poking her tongue out and giving a thumbs up.
Alexa PenaVega with hubby Carlos. Photo: Instagram/@vegaalexa

"The Maui culture is about family, about community, Alexa told FoxNews.

"I think that’s something that was getting lost when we were living in Los Angeles.

"I will say Los Angeles is a place that offers you a lot of opportunities, but it doesn’t necessarily have a family culture.

"LA is so jaded. But here, in Hawaii, people are just living."

Alexa PenaVega in two images with her long hair worn loose; in the first her hair is blonder, in the second it has redder tones.
Alexa PenaVega shares her life with fans on her Insta account. Photo: Instagram/@vegaalexa

They are parents to three children – sons Ocean, five, and Kingston, three, and daughter Rio, who turned one in May.

They also have a new "child", a memoir they've co-written called What if Love Is The Point? sharing how their faith brought meaning back into their lives.

Alexa pictured at left with children, Ocean, five, Kingston, three and one-year-old Rio. At right, she is pictured on the beach with two children and below right she is pictured kissing her son on his cheek.
Alexa and husband Carlos have three children, Ocean, five, Kingston, three and one-year-old Rio. Photo: Instagram/@vegaalexa

And what ever happened to her co-star, Daryl Sabara, who played her brother Juni?

He's only married to songstress Meghan Trainor, with whom he shares 17-month old son Riley.

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