‘Spy Kids’ was the ultimate action flick for kids in 2001, and the movie officially turns 20 on March 30. See the cast then and now.
Adults? Who needs them? Spy Kids showed youngsters around the world they could be action heroes, too. Carmen and Juni Cortez’s journey to save their parents was full of twists, laugh-out-loud moments, and those pesky Thumb Thumbs.
The movie was released on March 30, 2001, and became a massive hit. Spy Kids, which was written, edited, produced, and directed by Robert Rodriguez, earned over $147 million at the box office. The success of the first movie led to three sequels. At the center of Spy Kids were Alexa PenaVega and Daryl Sabara, who were just kids when the movie came out. Now they’re fully grown adults. Take a look at the cast then and now.
Alexa PenaVega’s breakout role was Carmen Cortez in Spy Kids. She returned for the three sequels over the years. In between Spy Kids 3-D and Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, Alexa also starred in movies like Sleepover, Odd Girl Out, and Broken Hill. She has reunited with Spy Kids director Robert Rodriguez in Machete Kills and Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.
She’s had roles on shows like Nashville, The Tomorrow People, and Unsupervised. Alexa has appeared in a number of Hallmark films, including Destination Wedding, Love At Sea, and Taking a Shot at Love. She currently voices a role in the animated series The Casagrandes.
Alexa was married to Sean Covel from 2010 to 2012. She married Big Time Rush star Carlos Pena Jr. in 2014. They each took the last name PenaVega. Alexa and Carlos both competed on DWTS season 21, finishing in sixth and fourth place. They have two sons, Ocean and Kingston, and are currently expecting a girl.
Daryl Sabara, 28, starred as Juni Cortez in the Spy Kids films. He was only 9 years old when the first film debuted. After the third Spy Kids movie, Daryl had roles in films like The Polar Express, Halloween, A Christmas Carol, Machete, and more. He returned for the fourth Spy Kids movie in 2011. He also notably played Edgar Rice Burroughs in the 2012 film John Carter.
He had the recurring role of T.J. Taylor on Wizards of Waverly Place from 2007 to 2009. He’s made other appearances on TV shows like Generator Rex, Ultimate Spider-Man, Weeds, and recently Ben 10.
Antonio Banderas, 60, starred as Carmen and Juni’s dad, Gregorio Cortez. Antonio was already a well-known actor when he starred in three of the Spy Kids movies. Around the same time, Antonio also voiced the role of Puss in Boots in the Shrek film series. He reprised the role of Gregorio Cortez in the 2013 film Machete Kills.
He’s starred in numerous movies since then, including Acts of Vengeance, Life Itself, The Laundromat, and The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. Antonio earned an Oscar nomination for his role in the 2019 film Pain and Glory. He received an Emmy nomination in 2018 for playing Pablo Picasso in the limited series Genius: Picasso. His next movies are Uncharted and Lamborghini — The Legend.
Antonio and Melanie Griffith split in June 2014 after 18 years of marriage. Their divorce was finalized in December 2015. Despite breaking up, Antonio and Melanie remain close and share a daughter, Stella, together.
Carla Gugino, 49, played Carmen and Juni’s mom, Ingrid Cortez. She starred in the first three Spy Kids movies. Carla went on to have notable roles in Sin City, Night At The Museum, American Gangster, Watchmen, Sucker Punch, San Andreas, and more. She voices Kelor in the DC Extended Universe. She starred in one-season wonders Karen Sisco and Threshold.
One of her best roles to date was Olivia Crain in the Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House. She appeared in the second season of the anthology series, The Haunting of Bly Manor. Carla also starred in the crime series Jett. She is set to star in the upcoming films Gunpowder Milkshake and With/In.
Alan Cumming, 56, played Fegan Floop in the first two Spy Kids movies. He made a cameo in the third film. Alan notably starred as Nightcrawler in the 2003 film X2. His other movie roles include Son of the Mask, Burlesque, Battle of the Sexes, and more. One of his most well-known roles was the role of Eli Gold on The Good Wife. He earned three Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nods for his performance over the years. Alan has had a number of voice roles on television. He’s also an esteemed stage actor.
Alan is currently appearing on the TV series Prodigal Son in a recurring role. His upcoming films include Everything I Ever Wanted to Tell My Daughter About Men and Bright in a Hollow Sky. Alan is currently married to Grant Shaffer.
Teri Hatcher, 56, played Ms. Gradenko in the first Spy Kids movie. Following the release of Spy Kids in 2001, Teri got the role of Susan Mayer on Desperate Housewives. The ABC series ran from 2004 to 2012. She won a Golden Globe award for her performance.
After Desperate Housewives, Teri voiced the role of Dottie in the Disney films Planes and Planes: Fire & Rescue. She had a recurring role on The Odd Couple and played Queen Rhea of Daxam on Supergirl. Her latest role was in the 2019 film Madness in the Method.
Danny Trejo, 76, starred as Isador “Machete” Cortez in the four Spy Kids films. His character, Machete, was given his own spinoff films. Danny has starred as the character in Machete, Machete Kills, and Grindhouse. Danny has appeared in other films in recent years and notably voiced the role of Boots the Monkey in the live-action Dora and the Lost City of Gold. He’s had roles on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Breaking Bad, The Flash, Sons of Anarchy, and more. He was recently unmasked as the Raccoon on The Masked Singer.
Cheech Marin, 74, played Felix Gumm in the first three Spy Kids movies. He also voiced the role of Ramone in the Cars movies and Corrections Officer in the Disney-Pixar film Coco. He recently starred in the 2020 comedy The War with Grandpa. He is currently filming Shotgun Wedding with Jennifer Lopez.