×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What The Cast Of Spy Kids Looks Like Today

It's hard to believe, but it's been over 15 years since Robert Rodriguez's classic spy comedy/action film Spy Kids hit theaters. An upbeat and exciting take on the spy genre that's great for fans of all ages, Spy Kids currently holds a 93 percent "Fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes—and for good reason. The franchise has since gone on to spawn three different sequels, the most recent being 2011's Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, which featured a largely new cast and was panned by critics. But what about the actors in the original 2001 Spy Kids? We caught up with the stars of this family gem of a film to see what they look like (and are up to) today.

Daryl Sabara - Juni Cortez

Younger brother Junito Rocket Racer Rebel "Juni" Cortez (Daryl Sabara) has it pretty rough at the beginning of the first Spy Kids film. His older sister can't stand him and constantly picks on him, and despite her poor treatment of him, Juni keeps confidential a very embarrassing secret about her. After the siblings are forced to work together in order to save their spy parents, Juni finally starts to get some of the respect he deserves from his big sis as she learns the value of family.

Like his on-screen sibling Alexa Vega, Sabara appeared in the subsequent Spy Kids sequels, but that by no means has been the extent of his acting career. Sabara has racked up a nice Hollywood resume for himself, with appearances on shows like Weeds, and major roles in films like 2009's April Showers. Also like Vega, Sabara made an appearance for Robert Rodriguez in the Machete film franchise, taking the role of "Julio" in the original 2010 movie, Machete

Over the years, Sabara has gained a good reputation for his voice-acting work, too—his most recent role has been as the character Heatblast since 2016 in the animated series Ben 10. But Daryl isn't the only actor in his family; if you watch Spy Kids closely, you might even catch a glimpse of Daryl's real-life fraternal twin, Evan, who plays a minor role in the film and has gone on to do his own bigger roles and voice work.

Antonio Banderas - Gregorio Cortez

Although he was once one of the top spies in the world, Gregorio (Antonio Banderas) is enjoying the family life with his wife, Ingrid (also a former spy). But when agents from the Organization of Super Spies start to vanish, Gregorio and Carla are pulled back into the field to investigate, before they disappear, too. A secret project that the super-smart Gregorio was working on years ago turns out to be the main motivation behind their kidnapping at the hands of Fegan Floop.

A prolific actor long before his appearance in Spy Kids, Banderas hasn't slowed down his career in the years since then, despite suffering a heart attack in January 2017. He's starred in dozens of roles in films and the occasional television show, with his most recent roles being in the upcoming movies Beyond The Edge and Life Itself. In addition to his acting career, Banderas also has a keen interest in fashion; he enrolled in a fashion design course in 2015 at a London college, and he served as the Honorary President of the 2017 Miami Fashion Week.

Carla Gugino - Ingrid Cortez

Despite once being a rival spy to her now-husband, Gregorio, Ingrid Cortez (Carla Gugino) has long since put her old rivalries aside to raise a family together with the love of her life. Along with her husband, Ingrid also still does deskwork for the OSS without the knowledge of her children. All that changes when she and Gregorio investigate mysterious disappearances, before finding themselves kidnapped and pumped for information by Floop and his associates.

Following her role in Spy Kids (and its subsequent sequels), Gugino has continued her acting career at full-throttle, appearing in many television shows and movies over the years. Notably, she held down a starring role in the thriller series Wayward Pines and also had major parts in both Sin City and Watchmen. Recently, Gugino has seemingly become a favorite of the Netflix-original casting department; she starred in their 2017 adaptation of the Stephen King novel Gerald's Game and is slated to appear in a new thriller series for them, The Haunting of Hill House.

Alan Cumming - Fegan Floop

On the surface, Fegan Floop (Alan Cumming) appears to be your everyday eccentric children's television host with a team of disturbing creatures as his on-screen sidekicks. It soon becomes clear that Floop is an unwilling villain set on world domination via his teams of thumb-beasts and android children. He kidnaps the Cortez family in order to obtain some of Gregorio's technology that will assist in his plan, but Floop soon finds himself double-crossed by his own man, Alexander Minion.

For over a decade, Cumming has lived in New York with his husband, Grant Shaffer. He's also something of an activist, working for LGBT causes and on behalf of PETA. In addition to his role as Floop (which he reprised in the sequels), Cumming has built quite an impressive Hollywood career for himself. 

You may also remember him as Nightcrawler in the X-Men movies, or for his role in The L Word, or as the voice of "Gutsy" in the Smurfs animated films. Since 2010, Cumming has starred as the politically savvy campaign strategist Eli Gold in The Good Wife. Both he and his Good Wife co-star Christine Baranski will be lending their voices to the 2017 animated special Michael Jackson's Halloween.

Teri Hatcher - Ms. Gradenko

Seemingly named after an '80s song by The Police, "Ms. Gradenko" (Teri Hatcher) is a rogue agent from the OSS, working in conjunction with former OSS agent turned villain Alexander Minion. Gradenko gets sent to do the dirty work of capturing the Cortez family and recovering Gregorio's secret technology. She later has a run-in with one of Uncle Machete's spy gadgets, burning off most of her hair and leaving her nearly bald.

She never reprised her role in any of the Spy Kids sequels, but Hatcher did go on to star in numerous television shows and movies in the years since then. Notably, she played a starring role in Desperate Housewives for eight years and lent her voice to animated roles in several animated features. Most recently, Hatcher has played the recurring part of Queen Rhea in the CW series Supergirl. She also recently reunited with her former co-star Dean Cain, from the show that helped make her famous: Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

Cheech Marin - Felix

"Uncle" Felix has been posing as Gregorio's brother for many years, but in reality he is another OSS agent. Although Gregorio has a real (and estranged) brother, Machete, the children are led to believe that Felix is their uncle when he is really just a friend of the family. After the Cortez parents are kidnapped, Felix tells the kids the truth and ensures they make it to a safe house before he is captured by Floop's henchmen.

Ever since his appearances in the '70s and '80s Cheech and Chong films, Cheech Marin has remained in-demand as an actor. He reprised his role as Felix in two more Spy Kids movies, and has also had dozens of other parts in films and television shows over the years. In particular, Marin has continued to work with Robert Rodriguez frequently; he's had parts in the Rodriguez movies Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Machete, and others. Marin has also worked frequently in voice acting; notably, you can hear him as the voice of Ramone in all of the Cars animated films. Marin is also quite a patron of Chicano artwork; he recently announced plans to open a Chicano art museum in Riverside, California.

Danny Trejo - Machete

Despite being an actual blood relative of the Cortez children, Uncle Machete (Danny Trejo) hardly sees his brother's family any more because of a long-standing feud between him and his brother Gregorio. After his brother and sister-in-law are kidnapped, his niece and nephew come to him for help. Although Machete refuses to go save Gregorio and Ingrid, we learn that he is quite a talented spy-gadget inventor. Carmen and Juni take some of his gadgets to go in search of their parents themselves, and later in the movie, Machete appears in time to help save the family from an army of androids.

In addition to reprising his role as Uncle Machete in the other Spy Kids films, Trejo got his own Machete franchise when Robert Rodriguez decided to expand a fake trailer from the movie Grindhouse into a full-length feature, 2010's Machete. In the film, Machete shows a much darker side than seen in any of the Spy Kids movies. Trejo also played the role in the 2013 sequel, Machete Kills. Perhaps one of the most in-demand character actors in Hollywood today, Trejo has appeared in hundreds of roles over his three-decade career. In addition to acting, he is quite a foodie; he owns several restaurants around the Los Angeles area and recently announced plans to open a new donut shop.

Robert Patrick - Mr. Lisp

Although he's definitely better-known for his role in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Robert Patrick still makes a great turn as the rich businessman and villain Mr. Lisp in Spy Kids. He pays Fagan Floop an exorbitant amount of money to build him a personal army—money that Floop largely squanders on creations for his TV show. When Lisp shows up with an ultimatum, Floop is double-crossed by Alexander Minion, who reveals the robot army. Unfortunately, the android children have been reprogrammed by Floop, and they promptly attack Lisp and the other bad guys.

Like Teri Hatcher's character, Mr. Lisp didn't appear in any of the other Spy Kids movies, but that hasn't slowed down Patrick's acting career. He starred in The X-Files, as well as in movies like Walk the Line and The Men Who Stare at Goats. Since 2014, he has starred as Agent Gabe Callo in the drama series Scorpion. Talent definitely runs in the family; Robert's younger brother Richard is a musician and lead singer of the bands Filter and Army of Anyone.

Tony Shalhoub - Alexander Minion

Although Fagan Floop is the supposed villain of Spy Kids, it soon becomes apparent that former OSS agent Alexander Minion (Tony Shalhoub) is the real bad guy. He is hoping to recover a scientific experimental project he once worked on with Gregorio when they were both still agents. This technology would allow him to achieve world domination through his army of robot children. After abandoning Floop and revealing himself as the main antagonist, Minion is eventually defeated and becomes an aid to Carmen and Juni in the subsequent Spy Kids films.

Following his first appearance in the Spy Kids franchise, Shalhoub appeared in his most successful project to date: the long-running comedy/drama detective series, Monk. For eight seasons, Shalhoub played the title character, earning himself multiple award nominations and wins for the role. More recently, Shalhoub appeared in Nurse Jackie and joined his Spy Kids co-star Cheech Marin by providing his voice to the character of Luigi in all of the Cars animated films. Later in 2017, Shalhoub is slated to star in the Broadway production of The Band's Visit when it opens in November.

Alexa Vega - Carmen Cortez

As the eldest of the Cortez children, Carmen Elizabeth Juanita Echo Sky Bravo Cortez (played by Alexa Vega) is frequently stuck watching her little brother Juni, when all she really wants to do is gain some independence. She also has some major problems to deal with in her life like nighttime bedwetting or her penchant for skipping school. After the Cortez children's parents are kidnapped, Carmen must learn to work together with her brother in order to save them.

Following her appearance in Spy Kids, Vega would go on to appear in the next three sequels to the franchise, and she also continued to work with director Robert Rodriguez in other projects. Notably, she also appeared as a prostitute/assassin called Killjoy (pictured above) in the 2013 Rodriguez film Machete Kills, which was one of two spinoff films centered on the Spy Kids character of Uncle Machete.

In 2014, she married Big Time Rush star Carlos Pena Jr. and the couple decided to both change their last names to the blended "PenaVega." They later welcomed their first child, Ocean King PenaVega, in December of 2016. In addition to continuing her acting career and raising her new family, Alexa and her husband also launched their own clothing line in 2016, called Cross Your Heart.