Alexa PenaVega

Alexa Ellesse PenaVega[2] (née Vega; born August 27, 1988)[3] is an American actress and singer. She is known for her role as Carmen Cortez in the Spy Kids film series and Julie Corky in Sleepover. In 2009, she starred as the title character Ruby Gallagher in the ABC Family series Ruby & the Rockits.

Alexa PenaVega
PenaVega in 2013
Alexa Ellesse Vega[1]

(1988-08-27) August 27, 1988
Miami, Florida, U.S.
  • Actress
  • singer
Years active1993–present
RelativesMakenzie Vega (sister)

Early life

Vega was born in Miami, Florida.[3] She spent her childhood years on a ranch in Ocala, Florida. Her father, Baruch Vega, is a Colombian fashion photographer who was an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration, and her mother, Gina Rue, is a former model.[4][5][6][7] Vega has six siblings, including actress Makenzie Vega. She moved with her family to California when she was four years old.[8] As a teenager, she was homeschooled.[9]



In 1996, Vega starred as young Jo Harding in Twister. She guest-starred in numerous television shows and films, including ER, 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. In 2011, Vega appeared in the sequel, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, as a grown Carmen Cortez.

Vega speaking during a Repo! Road Tour, 2009

She was named one of the year's hottest teen celebrities in the July 2003 issue Vanity Fair. In 2004, Vega finished filming two films: Sleepover and State's Evidence. The following year, she starred in the Lifetime television film Odd Girl Out, as a victim of cyber-bullying. In 2006, she starred in another made-for-TV movie, Walkout; and finished filming Remember the Daze, which was released in limited theaters in April 2007. She also finished filming Repo! The Genetic Opera, which was released in 2008.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12] 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".[13]

Throughout 2013 and 2014, Vega appeared in the films 23 Blast, Machete Kills, Bounty Killer, Wicked Blood, The Remaining, and The Hunters. She also guest starred on the Big Time Rush series finale "Big Time Dreams", playing herself. In 2015, Alexa appeared in Do You Believe? as Lacey.[14]

In 2016, she began starring in a series of Hallmark made for television films, such as Ms. Matched, Destination Wedding, and Christmas Made to Order.[15]


In fall 2015, Alexa competed on the 21st season of Dancing with the Stars. Her husband, Carlos PenaVega was also competing that season, and he & his partner were eliminated in Week 11.[16] She was paired with professional dancer Mark Ballas.[17] On November 9, Alexa and Ballas were eliminated in Week 9 and finished the competition in 6th place.

In 2019, Vega and her husband Carlos starred in the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries TV movie Picture Perfect Mysteries: Newlywed and Dead, and in 2020 the follow-up Picture Perfect Mysteries: Dead over Diamonds.[18]


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 promote with the release of the second film, and "Game Over" and "Heart Drive" featuring Bobby Edner for the third film. She also 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 ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas.

Personal life

Vega married film producer Sean Covel on October 10, 2010, in a ceremony held in his hometown of Lead, South Dakota.[19] She was walked down the aisle by Robert Rodriguez. In July 2012, Vega announced on Twitter that she had divorced Covel.[20][21]

PenaVega is a Christian. She has said that her faith is the most important thing in her life.[22] Vega was the maid of honor at Nikki Reed's wedding to Paul McDonald.[23]

In August 2013, Vega became engaged to former Big Time Rush actor and singer Carlos Pena Jr., who she had been dating since late 2012 [24][25] The couple married on January 4, 2014 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, both taking PenaVega as their married name.[26] The couple shares a YouTube channel, LexLovesLos.[27] They have two sons. Ocean King PenaVega born in December 2016 and Kingston James PenaVega born in June 2019.[28][29] In December 2020, they announced that they are expecting their third child, a girl.[30]



Year Title Role Notes
1994Little GiantsPriscilla O'Shea
1995Nine MonthsMolly Dwyer
1996TwisterJo Harding (age 5)
Shattered MindSarahAlso known as The Terror Inside
The Glimmer ManCole's Daughter
Ghosts of MississippiClaire DeLaughter
1998Dennis the Menace Strikes AgainGinaDirect-to-video film
1999The Deep End of the OceanKerry Cappadora
2000Run the Wild FieldsOpal "Pug" Miller
2001Follow the Stars HomeAmy WilliamsKnown as A Second Chance in Australia
Spy KidsCarmen Cortez / Carmenita
2002Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams
2003Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
2004SleepoverJulie Corky
2005Odd Girl OutVanessa Snyder
2006State's EvidenceSandyDirect-to-video film
Marrying GodIvyShort film
WalkoutPaula Crisostomo
2007Remember the DazeHollyOriginally titled The Beautiful Ordinary
2008Repo! The Genetic OperaShilo Wallace
2009InnocentAshleyOriginally titled Helix
Broken HillKat Rogers
2010Mother's DayJenna Luther
2011From Prada to NadaMary Dominguez
Summer SongEllie
Spy Kids: All the Time in the WorldCarmen Cortez
2012The Devil's CarnivalWick
The Pregnancy ProjectGaby Rodriguez
2013Bounty KillerStewardess
Abandoned MineSharon
Machete KillsKillJoy
The HuntersDylan Savini
2014The Clockwork GirlTesla
Wicked BloodAmber
Code AcademyLibby
Sin City: A Dame to Kill ForGilda
23 BlastAshley
The RemainingSkylar
2015Spare PartsKarla
Do You Believe?Lacey
Roommate WantedJanie
PixiesMichelle MeyersVoice role
The Murder PactCamille
2016Ms. MatchedLibby BolandTV Movie
2018Sleep AwayIsabella
2020Mighty OakValerie Scoggins


Year Title Role Notes
1993–94Evening ShadeEmily NewtonRecurring role; 6 episodes
1995ERBonnie HoweEpisode: "Sleepless in Chicago"
Chicago HopeSara WilmetteEpisode: "Every Day a Little Death"
It Was Him or UsYoung CarrieTelevision film (CBS)
1996A Promise to CarolynYoung KayTelevision film (CBS)
Life's WorkTess HunterPilot episode
1998The Magnificent SevenOlivia GreerEpisode: "Safecracker"
To Have & to HoldKelly McGrail7 episodes
1999NetForceSusie MichaelsMiniseries
Ladies ManWendy Stiles No. 29 episodes
2002Total Access 24/7Herself; Carmen CortezEpisode: "Spy Kids 2"
All ThatCarmen CortezEpisode: "Spy Kids/Play"
Wild & Crazy KidsHerselfCelebrity guest[31]
2003The Bernie Mac ShowJillEpisode: "Magic Jordan"
Trading Spaces: Boys vs. GirlsHerselfEpisode: Siblings "Eli vs. Kali"
2005Odd Girl OutVanessa SnyderTelevision film (Lifetime)
2006WalkoutPaula CrisostomoTelevision film (HBO)
2009Ghost WhispererSerenaEpisodes: "Endless Love"
Ruby & the RockitsRuby GallagherLead role
2010The MiddleMorganEpisodes: "The Break-Up" and "Worry Duty"
2012"Royal Pains"HollisterEpisode: "Imperfect Storm"
The Pregnancy ProjectGaby RodriguezTelevision film (Lifetime Movies)
UnsupervisedChristinaRecurring role
2013Big Time RushHerselfEpisode: "Big Time Dreams"
2014The Tomorrow PeopleHillary Cole8 episodes
The HuntersDylan SaviniTelevision film (Hallmark)
CourtsideHerselfEpisode: "Alexa Vega"
MuertoonsRosita (voice)2 episodes
2014–15NashvilleKiley BrennerRecurring role
2015The MentalistLily StoppardEpisode: "The Whites of His Eyes"
Dancing with the StarsHerselfSeason 21 contestant; finished in sixth place
2016Ms MatchedLibby BolandTelevision film (Hallmark)
2017–presentThe Loud HouseCarlota Casagrande, Additional voices (voice)7 episodes
2017Destination WeddingEllie HamiltonTelevision film (Hallmark)
Enchanted ChristmasLaura TrudeauTelevision film (Hallmark)
2018Love at SeaOlivia GrahamTelevision film (Hallmark)
Christmas Made to OrderGretchenTelevision film (Hallmark)
2019Picture Perfect Mysteries: Newlywed and DeadAllie AdamsTelevision film (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
2019–presentThe CasagrandesCarlota CasagrandeMain role
2020Blue's Clues & You!HerselfEpisode: "Happy Birthday Blue!"
Picture Perfect Mysteries: Dead Over DiamondsAllie AdamsTelevision film (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
Picture Perfect Mysteries: Exit Stage, DeathAllie AdamsTelevision film (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
2021Taking A Shot At LoveJennaTelevision film (Hallmark)


Soundtrack performances

Year Song(s) Soundtrack album
2002 "Isle of Dreams" Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams
2003 "Game Over", "Heart Drive", "Isle of Dreams (Cortez Mix)" Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
2008 "At the Opera Tonight", "Infected", "Zydrate Anatomy", "Chase the Morning", "Seventeen", "I Didn't Know I'd Love You So Much", "Genetic Emancipation" Repo! The Genetic Opera
2009 "Lost in Your Own Life", "You Are Where I Live", "The Way It's Gonna Be", "Forever Your Song", "Too High a Price", "Possibilities" (with Austin Butler), "Now When I Close My Eyes" Ruby & the Rockits
"Christmas is the Time to Say 'I Love You'"[32] Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe
2012 "The Devil's Carnival"[33] The Devil's Carnival


  1. "5 Things You Don't Know About Alexa Vega". Entertainment Tonight. October 3, 2013.
  2. "Alexa Vega Weds Big Time Rush's Carlos Pena Jr". The Hollywood Reporter. January 5, 2014. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  3. "Alexa Vega Biography (1988-)". Archived from the original on September 26, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  4. Tracy, Liz (September 15, 2015). "Latina Takeover: Actresses From Miami Are Playing Big Roles for Disney, Broadway, and Hollywood". Miami New Times. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  5. "Alexa Forever". RE: Questions for Miss Alexa Vega. Archived from the original on June 27, 2010. 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.
  6. "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 ...
  7. "Alexa Vega Biography". Film Reference.
  8. "Alexa Vega Biography". BuddyTV. Archived from the original on July 29, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  9. Gilchrist, Todd (July 9, 2004). "Sleeping Over with Alexa Vega". IGN. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  10. Paris Hilton gets movie musical role. Retrieved August 1, 2007.
  11. ""Spy Kids" Star Vega to Join Broadway's Hairspray -". Archived from the original on July 15, 2014.
  12. "Two Tickets To 'The Devil's Carnival' Please". FEARnet. March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  13. "Aerosmith Rocks a Warehouse in 'Legendary Child' Video". Billboard. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  14. Foundas, Scott (March 20, 2015). "Film Review: 'Do You Believe?'". Variety. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  15. "Why Alexa PenaVega Loves Starring in Hallmark Christmas Movies".
  16. 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.|
  17. "Dancing with the Stars Season 21 Cast Announcement". ABC. September 2, 2015. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  18. "Picture Perfect Mysteries - About". Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  19. Rosario, Mariela. "Alexa Vega's Wedding Album". Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  20. "'Spy Kids' Star Alexa Vega – I'm a 23-year-old Divorcee Now!". July 15, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  21. Shira, Dahvi (July 16, 2012). "Spy Kids Star Alexa Vega Files for Divorce". People. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  22. "'Sin City' Actress Talks Directors in Hollywood 'Blasting Her' for Her Faith and New Revelation-Based Film". Christian Post.
  23. Malkin, Marc; Malec, Brett (October 5, 2011). "Nikki Reed Wedding Scoop: The Dress, the Maid of Honor and More!". E! Online.
  24. Eggenberger, Nicole (June 19, 2013). "Alexa Vega Engaged to Carlos Pena, Jr., Congratulated by Ex-Husband Sean Covel". Us Weekly. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  25. Spero, Jesse. "Alexa Vega Dishes Engagement Details: How Did Carlos Pena Pop The Question?". Access Hollywood. Los Angeles, California: NBC Universal. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
  26. "Alexa Vega Weds Big Time Rush's Carlos Pena Jr". The Hollywood Reporter. January 5, 2014. Archived from the original on March 16, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  27. "LexLovesLos".
  28. Juneau, Jen (December 9, 2016). "Carlos and Alexa PenaVega Welcome Son Ocean King — See His First Photo!". People. Archived from the original on February 25, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  29. Cardoza, Riley (July 2, 2019). "Alexa PenaVega Gives Birth to Baby Boy, Her Second Child With Husband Carlos PenaVega". Us Weekly. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  30. Mauch, Ally (December 26, 2020). "Alexa and Carlos PenaVega Expecting Their Third Child: 'Can't Wait to Meet Baby This Summer'". People.
  31. "[archives] WILD AND CRAZY KIDS 2002 REVIVAL (spy kids)" via
  32. "". September 25, 2009. Retrieved November 26, 2009.
  33. "The Devil's Carnival OST Out Today". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
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