See the Cast of Spy Kids, Then & Now

The kids' action-comedy film starring Alexa PenaVega, Daryl Sabara, Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino hit theaters on March 30, 2001.

By Tierney Bricker Mar 30, 2021 10:00 AMTags
Watch: Meghan Trainor Welcomes First Baby with Daryl Sabara

"My parents can't be spies—they're not cool enough!"

At least that's what Carmen (Alexa PenaVega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara) thought at the beginning of Spy Kids, the 2001 hit action flick. But c'mon, the Cortez kids should've known better, considering their mom and dad were played by none other than Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino in a movie created and directed by Robert Rodriguez, who was known for his grittier fare like El Mariarchi and From Dusk till Dawn.

Released on March 30, 2001, Spy Kids became one of the surprise hits of the year, grossing close to $150 million, launching the careers of its two young stars and spawning a successful franchise that includes three follow-up movies and a TV series. 

Thanks to Rodriguez's rep in Hollywood, the family-friendly film attracted some pretty big guest stars, including Emmy winner Tony Shalhoub, Teri Hatcher, Danny Trejo and George Clooney. Yes, that George Clooney. 

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Alexa PenaVega

After her breakout performance as Carmen Cortez in the Spy Kids film series, PenaVega went on to star in Sleepover and ABC Family's shortlived series Ruby & the Rockits. She also appeared in a series of action flicks, including Machete Kills, The Hunters and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For before competing on Dancing With the Stars in 2015. PenaVega has starred in several TV movies for Hallmark Channel since 2016 and currently voices a character on the animated hit The Casagrandes.

The 32-year-old married former Big Time Rush member Carlos Pena Jr. in 2014, both taking PenaVega as their married name. The couple have two sons, Ocean King, 4, and Kingston James, almost 2. In December 2020, the PenaVegas announced they are expecting a daughter. 

Daryl Sabara

Just 9 years old when he starred as Juni Cortez, Sabara went on to land recurring roles on Disney Channel's The Wizards of Waverly Place and Weeds. He's also lent his vocals to series such as Marvel's Avengers Assemble, Ultimate Spider-Man and Ben 10.

Sabara, 28, began dating pop star Meghan Trainor in 2016 and they got married in December 2018. The couple welcomed their first child, son Riley, in February. 

Carla Gugino

After playing Ingrid, the matriarch of the Cortez family, Gugino appeared in films such as Night at the Museum, American Gangster, Watchmen and San Andreas.

The 49-year-old has starred in Netflix's hit horror series The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor.

Gugino has been with her partner Sebastián Gutiérrez since 1996. 

Antonio Banderas

The Zorro star took on the role of Gregorio Cortez, the spy family patriarch, reprising the role for two follow-up films. In 2004, he began voicing the popular Shrek character Puss in Boots and also starred in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Frida and Take the Lead.

In 2018, the 60-year-old portrayed Pablo Picasso in the NatGeo anthology series Genius, earning Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his performance. The following year, Banderas was nominated for his first-ever Oscar for Pain and Glory.

Banderas was married to actress Melanie Griffith for almost a decade, with the couple divorcing in 2015. They have one daughter together, 14-year-old Stella Banderas.

Robert Patrick

Known for playing villains, the Terminator 2 actor was the main antagonist of the first Spy Kids film, Mr. Lisp. Since then, his credits include Walk the Line, Bridge to Terabithia, Flags of Our Fathers and Gangster Squad.

On the small screen, Patrick starred on The X-Files, The Unit and From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series, as well as made cameos on True Blood, Community and Mayans M.C. Most recently, he appeared on The Walking Dead and MacGyver

Patrick, 62, has been married to actress Barbara Hooper since 1990 and the couple have two children. 

Danny Trejo

A frequent collaborator with his second cousin and Spy Kids director Robert Rodriguez, Trejo's character Machete later got his own series of films that were decidedly less kid-friendly. 

Trejo has starred in over 250 movies and TV shows, including Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, American Gods and The Flash. Most recently, he competed on The Masked Singer

In 2016, the actor began opening restaurants in Los Angeles, including Trejo's Tacos, Trejo's Cantina and Trejo's Donuts and Coffee.

Cheech Marin

The legendary Cheech & Chong star played Felix Gumm, a close family friend of the Cortezes who goes on to become the villain in the 2002 sequel. 

Marin has lent his voice to several Disney films, including Oliver & Company, The Lion King, the Cars series, Coco and Beverly Hills Chihuahua. The Nash Bridges alum also appeared on TV series such as Lost, Grey's Anatomy and Jane the Virgin

The 74-year-old actor married Natasha Rubin in 2009 and he's released two best-selling albums in the children's music genre.

Alan Cumming

Following his time as Fegan Floop, the Tony winner went on to star in CBS' hit drama The Good Wife for six years, earning three Emmy nominations for his portrayal of crisis manager Eli Gold. Cumming, 56, also popped up on Doctor Who, Broad City and Prodigal Son, and made appearances in films such as X2, Burlesque and Battle of the Sexes and lent his voice to The Smurfs franchise.

Cumming has been married to Grant Shaffer since 2007. He's written two books, novel Tommy's Tale and his 2014 memoir, Not My Father's Son: A Memoir.

Tony Shalhoub

Shalhoub appeared in the first three Spy Kids films as reformed baddie Alexander Minion. 

In 2002, Shalhoub began his critically acclaimed run on USA Network's Monk, earning an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for eight consecutive years and winning three times. Since 2017, the 67-year-old actor has starred on Amazon's Emmy-winning comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Shalhoub has been married to actress Brooke Adams since 1992 and the couple have two daughters.

Teri Hatcher

The Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman star played OSS traitor Ms. Gradenko in the first Spy Kids film, going on to front ABC's hit soap Desperate Housewives three years later. During her time on Wisteria Lane, the former Bond girl won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.

Since Desperate Housewives ended its run in 2012, the 56-year-old has appeared on The Odd Couple and Supergirl. The actress also has her own YouTube cooking channel, Hatching Change, and competed on Food Network's Chopped.

Hatcher has a 23-year-old daughter, Emerson, with ex-husband Jon Tenney.

George Clooney

Yes, George Clooney really was in the OG Spy Kids movie, the Ocean's Eleven star making a small cameo as head of the OSS/future President of the United States Devlin. He reprised the role in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.

Since then, he's been one of the most in-demand actors and directors in Hollywood, starring in flicks such as The Perfect Storm, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Gravity, The Monuments Men, Hail, Caesar! and many more. Clooney, 59, won two Oscars, one for Syriana and one as a producer for Argo, and the ER alum returned to TV in Hulu's Catch-22 in 2019.

The longtime bachelor married human rights attorney Amal Clooney in September 2014, going on to welcome their twins Alexander and Ella in 2017. 

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