Spy Kids cast: Where are they now?
The kids are all grown up now. Find out what Alexa PenaVega, Daryl Sabara, and the other stars of the 2001 favorite are up to these days.
Spy Kids, then and now
On March 30, 2001, Spy Kids arrived in theaters, starring Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alexa PenaVega, and Daryl Sabara as members of the bad guy-fighting Cortez family. The Robert Rodriguez-directed film made $112.7 million at the domestic box office and spawned three sequels. With Spy Kids getting a reboot film on Netflix — starring Zachary Levi and Gina Rodriguez — we're taking a look at where the stars of the beloved film are now.
Antonio Banderas (Gregorio Cortez)
After making a name for himself in Philadelphia (1993) and Interview With the Vampire (1994), and with Golden Globe-nominated roles in Evita (1996) and The Mask of Zorro (1998), Antonio Banderas signed on to play Gregorio Cortez in Spy Kids. The celebrated actor played the father of the Cortez family, a spy with some seriously cool technology who is married to his former spy rival, Ingrid Cortez (Carla Gugino).
Seeing box office success with Spy Kids, Banderas reprised his role of Gregorio in Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams the following year and in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over in 2003, the same year he picked up Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself. He continued his family-friendly work with a voice gig as Puss in Boots in Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the Third (2007), Shrek Forever After (2010), and Puss in Boots (2011), and returned to another earlier role when he hit the big screen in 2005's The Legend of Zorro.
Throughout the years, Banderas continued to add to his filmography with roles in Machete Kills (2013), The Expendables 3 (2014), Knight of Cups (2015), The Laundromat (2019), Dolittle (2020), and Uncharted (2022). He received his first Best Actor Oscar nomination in 2020 for Pain and Glory, his eighth collaboration with director Pedro Almodóvar. He reprised his role of Puss in Boots in Puss in Boots: The Last Wish in 2022, and will appear in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023).
Carla Gugino (Ingrid Cortez)
Carla Gugino joined Spy Kids as Ingrid Cortez, the cunning spy who marries fellow spy Gregorio Cortez. Gugino, who made her first big-screen appearance in 1989's Troop Beverly Hills, rose to fame thanks to her TV work, which includes '90s roles on Falcon Crest; Doogie Howser, M.D.; The Buccaneers; and Spin City.
Gugino continued to play Ingrid for two of the Spy Kids' sequels, and reunited with director Robert Rodriguez in 2005's Sin City. She went on to appear in Night at the Museum (2006), American Gangster (2007), and Righteous Kill (2008), and lent her voice to Man of Steel in 2013.
Gugino returned to television with a 12-episode arc as Amanda on Entourage, a 2011 stint on Californication as Abby, and 2015 appearances on The Brink and Wayward Pines. She starred as the titular character in the 2019 Cinemax series Jett and was featured in Mike Flanagan's Netflix horror series The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor, and Midnight Mass.
Alexa PenaVega (Carmen Cortez)
Just 12 years old at the time of Spy Kids' release, Alexa PenaVega (then known as Alexa Vega) played Carmen Cortez. The oldest child of Ingrid and Gregorio, Carmen tries to take care of her little brother Juni (Daryl Sabara), no matter how annoying he may be. The child star began acting at a young age, appearing in episodes of Evening Shade when she was 5 years old and going on to book roles in Little Giants (1994), Twister (1996), and episodes of Life's Work and To Have & to Hold.
PenaVega went on to reprise her role in the Spy Kids sequels. She also appeared in Sleepover (2004), the short-lived 2009 ABC Family series Ruby & the Rockits, and the 2012 Lifetime movie The Pregnancy Project.
The former child star married Carlos Pena of Big Time Rush fame in 2014, inspiring her and her husband to change their last names to PenaVega. She then competed on the 21st season of Dancing With the Stars and played Kiley on ABC's Nashville. She and Carlos have three children, a podcast called What's the Point?, a book that seemingly answers that question called What If Love Is the Point?, and leading roles in the musical dramedy Mighty Oak (2020) and a slew of Hallmark TV movies, including the Picture Perfect Mysteries series.
Daryl Sabara (Juni Cortez)
A young Daryl Sabara landed one of his first roles as Juni Cortez in Spy Kids. Before playing the younger child of Gregorio and Ingrid and the little brother to Carmen, Sabara had a three-episode arc on Murphy Brown in 1992 and appearances on Roswell and Will & Grace.
Sabara returned as Juni for the Spy Kids sequels and expanded his résumé in the 2000s with appearances on Friends and Criminal Minds. Sabara saw further success on the small screen, holding multi-episode arcs on Weeds, Resident Advisors, and Ultimate Spider-Man. He's voiced multiple characters on the long-running animated show Ben 10 in addition to films like The Polar Express (2004) and A Christmas Carol (2009).
Sabara married pop singer Meghan Trainor in 2018 and they had their first child together in 2021.
Alan Cumming (Fegan Floop)
Alan Cumming lent his star power to Spy Kids as Fegan Floop; a villainous TV star who builds out his army in particularly devious ways. With nearly 30 years of experience to his name when the movie arrived in theaters, Cumming had previously appeared in various stage productions as well as onscreen projects including GoldenEye (1995), Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), and Get Carter (2000).
Cumming, who played Floop twice more in the sequels, appeared in Josie and the Pussycats and an episode of Sex and the City in 2001. He hit the small screen in mid-2000s episodes of Shoebox Zoo, The L Word, and Robot Chicken, and picked up his Emmy-nominated role of The Good Wife's Eli Gold in 2010. He reprised the character in season 6 of the spin-off series The Good Fight and serves as host of the Peacock reality competition series The Traitors.
George Clooney (Devlin)
The same year that he starred in Ocean's Eleven, George Clooney played Devlin in Spy Kids. The leading man found his role in the family-friendly flick as the leader of the OSS agency who calls on Gregorio and Ingrid to complete a mission.
Clooney signed on for the gig after wrapping his run on ER, and picking up credits for The Facts of Life and Roseanne in the '80s; Batman & Robin, Bodies of Evidence, Three Kings, Sisters, and One Fine Day in the '90s; and The Perfect Storm and O Brother, Where Art Thou? in 2000.
Clooney's career only grew from there. After returning to Devlin for Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over and appearing in Intolerable Cruelty and Ocean's Twelve in the early-2000s, he picked up his first Oscar nominations for 2005's Good Night, and Good Luck and Syriana, winning Best Supporting Actor for the latter. He subsequently received four more Academy Award nominations for Michael Clayton (2007), Up in the Air (2009), The Ides of March (2011), and The Descendants (2011) before winning Best Picture for his contributions as a producer for 2012's Argo.
He married human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin in 2014 and has since starred in Hail, Caesar! (2016), The Midnight Sky (2020), and Ticket to Paradise (2022).
Teri Hatcher (Ms. Gradenko)
Fresh off of her Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman days, Teri Hatcher picked up a gig as Ms. Gradenko in Spy Kids. The MacGyver alum plays a villain masquerading as a hero for the Cortez children, revealing her true colors as the movie continues.
Soon after Spy Kids arrived in theaters, Hatcher landed one of her biggest roles, playing Susan on Desperate Housewives from 2004 to 2012. The former NFL cheerleader earned a Golden Globe award and Emmy nomination for the role.
She also lent her voice to Coraline (2009) during that time and appeared in an episode of Smallville. Hatcher had a 2012 arc on Jane by Design, a voice role in Jake and the Never Land Pirates (2011), an eight-episode appearance on the CW's Supergirl, and a starring role in Hallmark's A Kiss Before Christmas (2021).
Cheech Marin (Felix Gumm)
Cheech Marin joined Spy Kids as Felix Gumm, a rare good guy for the Cortez family. He plays the "uncle" to Juni and Carmen, an agent who is actually there to help protect the family.
Marin came into the PG gig after spending years as a part of Cheech & Chong, and expanding his résumé with roles in Echo Park (1986), Born in East L.A. (1987), Ghostbusters II (1989), The Lion King (1994), Desperado (1995), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), and Tin Cup (1996).
The same year that Spy Kids arrived in theaters, Marin wrapped his five-year run on Nash Bridges. He went on to play Felix in two Spy Kids sequels, also reprising his role of Banzai for 2004's The Lion King 1 1/2. He returned to the small screen for an extended arc on Judging Amy in the mid-2000s, had a three-episode arc on Jane the Virgin, and lent his voice to Pixar's Cars trilogy, Maya and the Three (2021), and more.
Marin also made appearances in Race to Witch Mountain (2009), Machete (2010), and Shotgun Wedding (2023), and reprised his role of Joe in 2021's Nash Bridges revival movie.
Danny Trejo (Machete)
Already with dozens of credits to his name, Danny Trejo signed on for 2001's Spy Kids as Machete. The prolific actor plays the uncle to Juni and Carmen, who reluctantly gets involved in the drama to save his family.
Trejo took on the role after making previous appearances in The Hidden (1987), Lock Up (1989), Femme Fatale (1991), Heat (1995), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Con Air (1997), and Point Blank (1998).
Trejo's Spy Kids role was an important one, as the star went on to play Machete in Grindhouse (2007), Planet Terror (2007), Machete (2010), Machete Kills (2013), and the three Spy Kids sequels. Trejo also hit the big screen in Bubble Boy (2001), xXx (2002), Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003), Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), Valley of Angels (2008), Predators (2010), appeared in episodes of Sons of Anarchy and American Horror Stories, and competed as a raccoon on The Masked Singer.
He's now the owner of eight Los Angeles restaurants including Trejo's Tacos, Trejo's Cantina, and Trejo's Coffee and Donuts.
Tony Shalhoub (Alexander Minion)
Tony Shalhoub appeared as the menacing Alexander Minion in Spy Kids. Working for Floop, Minion does his bidding in an attempt to acquire the third brain.
Shalhoub picked up the project after making a name for himself as Antonio on Wings, and appearing in Honeymoon in Vegas (1992), Addams Family Values (1993), I.Q. (1994), Big Night (1996), Men in Black (1997), Primary Colors (1998), and Galaxy Quest (1999).
The year after Spy Kids hit theaters, Shalhoub landed his role as Adrian Monk on Monk. He went on to play the character for seven years, winning three Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. In addition to his return to two of the Spy Kids sequels, Shalhoub also picked up credits for Men in Black II (2002), the Cars trilogy, How Do You Know (2010), Pain & Gain (2013), and Nurse Jackie. He plays Abe Weissman on the Amazon Prime Video series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, winning an Emmy for the role.