Alexa Vega

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Alexa PenaVega
Alexa Vega 2013 (cropped).jpg
PenaVega at the premiere of Machete Kills at the Fantastic Fest
Born Alexa Ellesse Vega
(1988-08-27) August 27, 1988 (age 27)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1993–present
Spouse(s) Sean Covel (m. 2010–12)
Carlos PenaVega (m. 2014)

Alexa Ellesse PenaVega[1] (née Vega; born August 27, 1988) is an American actress and singer. She is known for her role as Carmen Cortez in the Spy Kids film series and Shilo Wallace in the film Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008). In 2009, she starred as the title character Ruby Gallagher in the ABC Family series Ruby & The Rockits.

Early life[edit]

Alexa Vega was born in Miami, Florida but spent the first four years of her life on a ranch in Ocala, Florida. Her father is Colombian and her mother, Gina Rue, is an American former model.[2][3][4][5] Vega has six siblings: paternal half-sister Margaux Vega (b. 1981), sister Krizia Vega (b. 1990), sister Makenzie Vega (b. 1994), maternal half-sister Greylin James (b. 2000), maternal half-brother Jet James (b. 2005), and maternal half-brother Cruz Hudson Rue (b. 2009). She moved with her family to California when she was four years old.[6]



In 1996, Vega starred as young Jo Harding in Twister. She guest-starred in numerous television shows and films, including ER (TV series) Follow the Stars Home, Ghost Whisperer, and The Bernie Mac Show. She became known worldwide in 2001 for her role as Carmen Cortez in Spy Kids. The first Spy Kids film was a huge success, and subsequently two sequels, Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams and Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over were filmed. During the shooting of the three films, she performed most of her own stunts. Vega reprised the role in the 2011 sequel, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World.

Vega speaking on the Repo! Road Tour, 2009

In 2003, she was named one of that year's hottest teen celebrities in the July 2003 issue Vanity Fair. In 2004, Vega finished filming two films: Sleepover and State's Evidence. Then the following year she starred in the Lifetime television film entitled Odd Girl Out as a victim of cyber-bullying. She also filmed for another made-for-TV movie, Walkout. In June 2006, she finished filming Remember the Daze, which was released in limited theaters on April 2007. She also finished filming Repo! The Genetic Opera, which was released in 2008.[7] Vega was confirmed as the lead role in Helix, written and directed by Aram Rappaport, which began filming in Chicago in March 2008. Vega was originally cast in the 2009 Robert Rodriguez film Shorts, however, due to her being in Australia for the filming of Broken Hill, she had to be recast. She was replaced by Kat Dennings. She appeared on Broadway in Hairspray, as Penny.[8] In 2009, she played Ruby Gallagher on the ABC Family television sitcom Ruby & The Rockits, which also starred Patrick and David Cassidy.

Vega played Wick in the 2012 film The Devil's Carnival, a film from director Darren Lynn Bousman and screenwriter Terrance Zdunich, who previously worked with Vega in Repo! The Genetic Opera.[9] Throughout 2012, Vega starred in the independent thriller, 2br/1ba, directed by Rob Margolies and co-stars with Spencer Grammer and Kathryn Morris. Vega also starred in the Lifetime Channel movie The Pregnancy Project and her animated film The Clockwork Girl was completed. Vega's film The Mine which was filmed in 2010 got a limited release/screening. Vega also voiced Christina in the animated series Unsupervised and had a guest role on Royal Pains. Vega played the young heroine in Aerosmith's music video "Legendary Child".[10]

Throughout 2013 and 2014, Vega appeared in the films 23 Blast, Machete Kills, Bounty Killer, Wicked Blood, The Remaining, and The Hunters. She also had a role on the Big Time Rush series finale "Big Time Dreams", playing herself.

On August 27, 2015, Vega was announced as one of the celebrities who will compete on the 21st season of Dancing with the Stars. Her husband, Carlos PenaVega was also announced as one of the contestants who will compete against her on the show.[11] She was paired with professional dancer Mark Ballas.[12] On November 9, PenaVega and Ballas were eliminated and finished the competition in 6th place.


She recorded three songs for the soundtracks while playing Carmen Cortez in the Spy Kids films. She released her debut single, "Isle of Dreams", to coincide with the release of the second film. She also released "Game Over", for the third film. Another song, "Heart Drive" featuring Bobby Edner, was also recorded for Spy Kids 3. She also has recorded songs for the movie Repo! The Genetic Opera, released in 2008.

Vega sang the song "Christmas is the Time to Say 'I Love You'" in the ABC Family film Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe. The track appears on the compilation album Songs to Celebrate 25 Days of Christmas, which was released on November 3, 2009 by Walt Disney Records. The music video for the song premiered during the ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas programming block in 2009.

Personal life[edit]

Vega married film producer Sean Covel on October 10, 2010, in a ceremony held in his hometown of Lead, South Dakota. She wore an Ian Stuart gown[13] and was walked down the aisle by Robert Rodriguez. In July 2012, Vega announced on Twitter that she had divorced Covel.[14][15]

In August 2013, while on a cruise with friends, Vega became engaged to actor and singer Carlos Pena, Jr.[16][17] The couple married on January 4, 2014, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and changed their surname to PenaVega.[18]

Vega is a Christian. She has said that her faith is the most important thing in her life.[19] Vega enjoys freshwater fishing, can speak Spanish fluently, and is an experienced gymnast.[20] Vega is close friends with Nikki Reed and was the maid of honor at Reed's wedding to Paul McDonald.[21]



Year Title Role Notes
1994 Little Giants Priscilla
1995 Nine Months Molly Dwyer
1996 Twister Jo Harding (age 5)
1996 Shattered Mind Sarah Also known as The Terror Inside
1996 The Glimmer Man Cole's Daughter
1996 Ghosts of Mississippi Claire DeLaughter
1998 Dennis the Menace Strikes Again Gina Direct-to-video film
1999 The Deep End of the Ocean Kerry Cappadora
2000 Run the Wild Fields Opal 'Pug' Miller
2001 Follow the Stars Home Amy Williams Also known as A Second Chance (Australia)
2001 Spy Kids Carmen Cortez
2002 Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams Carmen Cortez
2003 Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Carmen Cortez
2004 Sleepover Julie Corky
2005 Odd Girl Out Vanessa Snyder
2006 State's Evidence Sandy Direct-to-video film
2006 Marrying God Ivy Short film
2007 Remember the Daze Holly Originally titled The Beautiful Ordinary
2008 Repo! The Genetic Opera Shilo Wallace
2009 Innocent Ashley Originally titled Helix
2009 Broken Hill Kat Rogers
2010 Mother's Day Jenna Luther
2010 Café Sally
2011 From Prada to Nada Mary Dominguez
2011 Summer Song Ellie
2011 Spy Kids: All the Time in the World Carmen Cortez
2012 The Devil's Carnival Wick
2013 Bounty Killer Stewardess
2013 Abandoned Mine Sharon
2013 Machete Kills KillJoy
2013 The Hunters Dylan Savini
2014 The Clockwork Girl Tesla
2014 Wicked Blood Amber
2014 Code Academy Libby
2014 Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Gilda
2014 23 Blast Ashley
2014 The Remaining Skylar
2015 Spare Parts Karla
2015 Do You Believe? Lacey
2015 Roommate Wanted Janie
2015 Pixies Michelle Meyers Voice role
2015 The Murder Pact Camille


Year Title Role Notes
1993–94 Evening Shade Emily Newton Recurring role; 6 episodes
1995 ER Bonnie Howe Episode: Sleepless in Chicago"
1995 Chicago Hope Sara Wilmette Episode: "Every Day a Little Death"
1995 It Was Him or Us Young Carrie Movie
1996 A Promise to Carolyn Young Kay Movie
1996 Life's Work Tess Hunter Pilot episode
1998 The Magnificent Seven Olivia Greer Episode: "Safecracker"
1998 To Have & to Hold Kelly McGrail 7 episodes
1999 NetForce Susie Michaels Miniseries
1999 Ladies Man Wendy Stiles No. 2 9 episodes
2002 All That Carmen Cortez Episode: "Spy Kids/Play"
2003 The Bernie Mac Show Jill Episode: "Magic Jordan"
2003 Trading Spaces: Boys vs. Girls Herself Episode: Siblings "Eli vs. Kali"
2005 Odd Girl Out Vanessa Movie
2006 Walkout Paula Crisostomo Movie
2009 Ghost Whisperer Serena Episodes: "Endless Love"
2009 Ruby & The Rockits Ruby Gallagher Lead role
2010 The Middle Morgan Episodes: "The Break-Up" and "Worry Duty"
2012 The Pregnancy Project Gaby Rodriguez Movie
2012 Unsupervised Christina Recurring role
2012 Royal Pains Hollister Episode: "Imperfect Storm"
2013 Big Time Rush Herself Episode: "Big Time Dreams"
2014 The Tomorrow People Hillary Cole 8 episodes
2014 The Hunters Dylan Savini Movie
2014 Courtside Herself Episode: "Alexa Vega"
2014 Muertoons Rosita (voice) 2 episodes
2014–present Nashville Kiley Brenner Recurring role
2015 The Mentalist Lily Stoppard Episode: "The Whites of His Eyes"
2015 Dancing with the Stars Herself Season 21 contestant



Year Song Album Writer(s) Label
2002 "Isle of Dreams" Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams Robert Rodriguez Milan Records
2003 "Game Over" Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Robert Rodriguez & Rebecca Rodriguez
"Heart Drive"
2008 "Seventeen" Repo! The Genetic Opera Terrance Zdunich & Darren Smith Lionsgate Records
2009 "Lost in Your Own Life" Ruby & The Rockits Shaun Cassidy Hollywood Records
"You Are Where I Live" David Cassidy
"The Way It's Gonna Be"
"Forever Your Song"
"Too High a Price"
"Possibilities" (with Austin Butler)
"Now When I Close My Eyes"
"Christmas is the Time to Say 'I Love You'"[22] Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe Billy Squier Walt Disney Records


Music videos[edit]

Year Title Album Director Source
2002 "Isle of Dreams" Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams Robert Rodriguez Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams
2009 "You Are Where I Live" Ruby & The Rockits Ted Wass ABC Family/
"Christmas is the Time to Say 'I Love You'" Songs to Celebrate 25 Days of Christmas Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe/ABC Family Channel


  1. ^ "Alexa Vega & Carlos Pena Change Last Name to PenaVega". One News Page. January 9, 2014. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 
  2. ^ Tracy, Liz (2015-09-15). "Latina Takeover: Actresses From Miami Are Playing Big Roles for Disney, Broadway, and Hollywood". Miami New Times. Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
  3. ^ "Alexa Forever". RE: Questions for Miss Alexa Vega. Retrieved August 20, 2006. My father's side is Colombian (Bogota)... and I don't know why they said my mom was Italian. lol... She's not. My family and I were trying to figure out what my mom was, but we can only go back to 5 generations and they were all from Florida. haha. so .. Floridian? ahhah... my moms last name is French though. 
  4. ^ "Ex-spy has price on head, ache in heart". Miami Herald. September 7, 2009. Retrieved March 8, 2011. Alexa Vega 21 is his oldest daughter with former Miami model Gina Rue With about 40 films in her career Alexa is mostly known for her role in the Spy Kids ... 
  5. ^ "Alexa Vega Biography". Film Reference.
  6. ^ "Alexa Vega Biography". BuddyTV. Retrieved July 29, 2014. 
  7. ^ Paris Hilton gets movie musical role. Retrieved August 1, 2007.
  8. ^ "Spy Kids" Star Vega to Join Broadway’s Hairspray
  9. ^ "Two Tickets To 'The Devil's Carnival' Please". FEARnet. March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Aerosmith Rocks a Warehouse in 'Legendary Child' Video". Billboard. Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  11. ^ Aguilera, Leanne (August 27, 2015). "EXCLUSIVE! 'Dancing With the Stars': Married Couple Alexa and Carlos PenaVega to Compete on Season 21". ET Online. Retrieved August 27, 2015. |
  12. ^ "Dancing with the Stars Season 21 Cast Announcement". ABC. September 2, 2015. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  13. ^ Rosario, Mariela. "Alexa Vega's Wedding Album". Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  14. ^ "'Spy Kids' Star Alexa Vega - I'm a 23-year-old Divorcee Now!". July 15, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  15. ^ Shira, Dahvi (July 16, 2012). "Spy Kids Star Alexa Vega Files for Divorce". Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  16. ^ Eggenberger, Nicole (June 19, 2013). "Alexa Vega Engaged to Carlos Pena, Jr., Congratulated by Ex-Husband Sean Covel". Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  17. ^ Spero, Jesse. "Alexa Vega Dishes Engagement Details: How Did Carlos Pena Pop The Question?". Access Hollywood. NBC Universal Inc. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  18. ^ Fahy, Collette (January 5, 2014). "Spy Kids actress Alexa Vega ties the knot with Nickelodeon star Carlos Pena 18 months after her divorce from Sean Covel. After that, they changed their surname to PenaVega. On July 28, 2015, it was announced that the two had amicably separated.". Daily Mail. 
  19. ^ "'Sin City' Actress Talks Directors in Hollywood 'Blasting Her' for Her Faith and New Revelation-Based Film". 
  20. ^ "Biography". 
  21. ^ "Nikki Reed Wedding Scoop: The Dress, the Maid of Honor and More!". 
  22. ^ "". September 25, 2009. Retrieved November 26, 2009. 

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