Alexa Vega on Marriage, Robert Rodriguez and 'Spy Kids'
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By Molly McGonigle
Alexa Vega has spent half her life as a member of the "Spy Kids" franchise. With the debut of the first three DVDs on Blu-ray and the upcoming release of "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D," Wonderwall thought it was time to catch up with the head honcho, super-kid spy. Get the scoop on everything, from Alexa doing her own stunts to her getting hitched and her close relationship with Robert Rodriguez, who gave her away at her wedding.
Wonderwall: You've grown up working on the 'Spy Kids' franchise. Tell us what that was like.
Alexa Vega: I think when we were little, we all played some sort of spy or dress up. Our childhoods were the most extreme form of summer camp. We played with gadgets every day and they had us doing all sorts of crazy stunts
WW: What was it like to go back to the fourth film after such an extended break since the last one?
AV: I've always been the little kid on set. So walking back on set as a young adult was so surreal. Seeing the same crew and cast and director, who we've worked with for so many years, was so strange, but wonderful at the same time. There were very happy tears.
WW: What's the scariest stunt you've ever done yourself?
AV: There's this scene in "Spy Kids 2" where I'm supposed to be holding Daryl [Sabara] by his foot. And the way that the harness was positioned -- and I was sideways and he was upside down -- it was just so unbelievably uncomfortable, and we had to be there for so long. It felt like seven or eight hours, but it was only about three or four hours. They were grueling hours.
WW: Out of all of the people you've worked with on 'Spy Kids,' who was your favorite?
AV: You know when you're younger, you don't really think about who you are working with. Now that I'm older, I can't believe that I worked with these people. I love Steve Buscemi; he is one of the sweetest guys to work with. And he'd go play football with us. And of course Antonio [Banderas] and Carla [Gugino] were amazing. They were our parents for years.
WW: Do you want to work with ['Spy Kids' director] Robert Rodriguez again?
AV: I hope so. Robert and I have only worked on the "Spy Kids" together. I was supposed to do a movie that he did called "Shorts," but I had to drop out because I was filming a movie in Australia. But it just so happens that the film in Australia is where I fell in love with my now-husband. So it all worked out!
WW: Congrats on the wedding! What has the first year of marriage been like?
AV: I can't believe it's already almost been a year. It's been great. This is the first time that he and I have been working at the same time. So we're learning how to balance both of us working at the same time and still spend time together as much as possible. That part is hard, but you make it work. You fight for it, and that's what makes it work. More than anything, we've just been total dorks vegging out on the couch and just enjoying each other's company. I love that. It's my favorite thing.
WW: How will you celebrate your one-year wedding anniversary?
AV: We have blocked off about a week during the week of Oct. 10. We still haven't taken a honeymoon, so it might be a one-year anniversary and honeymoon that we're going take.
WW: How did you decide to have Robert Rodriguez walk you down the aisle in your wedding?
AV: He's always been super supportive of me. He's truly been like a dad. He bought me a car for my 16th birthday. So when this time came around, I remember being so nervous to tell him I was engaged. I thought he'd tell me I was too young and that he wasn't going to be happy for me. You just get so nervous when you look up to someone. Then when I told him and he took it so well, I immediately asked him and he said yes. I was so happy!
WW: Did you give the new generation of 'Spy Kids' advice?
AV: No kids ask for advice, but I did anyway. I told them that this stuff goes by so quickly. I told them, "Guys, how cool is this? But really, remember this moment. Because it's going to go by so past and you won't even be able to believe it." These kids are really smart, like little adults, but they were just so wonderful to work with.
WW: Is there any possibility of a 'Spy Kids 5'?
AV: Nobody has talked about it. I hope so, because I think it would be really fun. I think they are waiting to see how the new generation responds to this "Spy Kids." If Robert was doing the movie, I would absolutely do it.
WW: What kind of roles do you want to take on in the future?
AV: I think it'd be so awesome to do an action-drama for a girl. When I saw the trailer for Zoe Saldana's movie "Colombiana," I freaked out. That's the kind of stuff that I would really love to be involved with. More than anything, I love keeping people guessing. I don't want people to think I'm going to do the same character over and over again. I like to keep people interested like the people I look up to, Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep. I mean, you never know what kind of character they're going to play next."
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