An Interview with Alexa Vega
Last Saturday, I spent the latter part of the afternoon chatting with the star of this summer's hit girly flick, Sleepover. All high-pitched squeals considered, I shouldn't have gotten drunk before hand...
Vega: How are you?
O: Okay, how are you doing?
Vega: Good, good. I'm running around with no shoes on.
O: I like your hair.
Vega: Thank you. After dying it so many times, I decided I'm just going to let the sun bleach it out back to my natural blonde. Because, for the last five or six things, they've wanted me to dye it dark brown or black. So, I'm just letting it go. I'm not going to mess with it.
O: Have you ever played blonde in a movie?
Vega: When I was younger, before all the Spy Kids movies.
O: So, this is a movie about somebody with a crush. What does a crush feel like to you in real life?
Vega: A crush? Someone that can make you feel free. Like you are floating. I don't know. I think it's one of those things where they make you feel really, really happy. And giddy. Especially for girls.
O: What are some of the signs? Do you laugh a lot? Do you sweat? Do you get nervous?
Vega: I don't know what to say when I have a crush on somebody. I kind of lose my words. I really try to start a conversation, and I can't. It's horrible.
O: Has being famous made approaching prospective boyfriends tougher?
Vega: Mostly, the people that know who I am are the younger kids. Because of Spy Kids. For the most part, I'm still trying to get there. But, not really. Sometimes I get those people that do know who I am. And they either want to be my friend, or more, for the wrong reasons. And there are those people that automatically hate me for that, also. So, it's kind of like a no-win situation. But then you get some of those people who just go with it. I have three best friends that I just met two years ago. And they just liked me for me. Not for anything else.
O: What have been your own personal experiences with the Sleepover?
Vega: Well, because I'm naturally a tomboy, when I have sleepovers with girls, they end up going home and crying.
O: Why is that?
Vega: I like to play paintball in my backyard. And I usually set up a tent in the backyard. When the guys come over and hang out, we literally camp out. And we play paintball and night tag. Stuff like that...
O: So you beat the girls up, basically?
Vega: No, I don't beat them up. They're just girly. They want to put on make-up. I want to shoot things.
O: So you don't have that stash of wigs to play dress-up?
Vega: No. I actually have a stash of wigs for Halloween. But only for that. Not to play dress-up.
O: Do you go play paintball at SC Village in Corona?
Vega: Yeah. There are some great paintball places around Santa Clarita. I don't even know their names. My friends take me. I don't drive.
O: Do you own your own gun? Like an auto-glock, or a mini-meg?
Vega: Yeah. My sister's getting an Angel. But they're really bad. They fall apart too often. But if they're really good...It's kind of like a car. You always have to upkeep it with the breakdowns. Same thing with a paintball gun. It's really expensive, the one that she's getting. But it's nice.
O: What's the coolest thing a friend has ever done for you?
Vega: For me, I'm a little different. I usually go to my mom. I consider my mom and all my sisters my friends. I don't know, necessarily. My mom always bails me out of things when I get in trouble.
O: What did you do to get in trouble that she had to bail you out?
Vega: We were TP-ing a friend's house, and we took a giant bag of shredded paper and put it all over the lawn. But my mom drove us. We put it all over the lawn, and it took them a week to get it all out. It was all this tiny little bits of shredded paper. It was really funny, but it was also kind of mean. Because it was a really good friend of ours. The parents got really mad. They got really mad at me, because they thought I caused everything. But their kid was doing it to other people's houses, so we decided to do it to him.
O: So, your mom is your partner in crime?
Vega: She is my partner in crime. She bailed me out. She knows we're good kids. Have you ever forked someone's lawn? Or put soap in their sprinklers?
Vega: It's good fun.
O: Alexa, have you decided what car you want for your sixteenth birthday?
Vega: Not yet. As you know, Robert Rodriguez, the director of all the Spy Kids movies, is buying me a car for my 16th birthday. I need a SUV, for me and my four sisters. So, I've narrowed it down to four, kind of expensive, cars. We're going to go test-driving when Robert gets into town.
O: Did he say you could have anything you want?
O: He didn't give you a limit?
Vega: No, he didn't give me a limit.
O: What do you miss, and what do you not miss about the Spy Kids movies?
Vega: What do I miss? All of the crew. The crew was awesome. They became my family. I worked with them for four years. I was always in and out of Austin, Texas. On my breaks, we were shooting Spy Kids. So, they became my family. And that was defiantly the hardest thing when we wrapped Spy Kids. It was almost unbelievable. On all of the other Spy Kids shoots, when we wrapped, I was just like, "Oh, I'll see you guys next year." Then, on the third one, because we knew it was going to be the last and final Spy Kids, I was sitting there, on this giant green stage, and I'm looping some stuff in front of everybody. Robert's like, "Now I want you to say something else." And I was like, "Okay, what's the line?" And he goes, "I'm Alexa Vega." I go, "I'm Alexa Vega." Then he goes, "And I'm wrapped." And I was like, "Oh, my gosh." He goes, "We're all going to miss you." And all of a sudden tears just burst out. I don't cry. I'm not like a girly-girl. Okay? But I just could not control myself. I was so sad. Because everyone there was like my family. It was kind of like leaving high school, or something. Only, this was even more special.
O: Is there anything you don't miss?
Vega: No. For the most part, it was a really great shoot. All of the crew was great. Most of the actors were pretty great. It was a lot of fun.
O: Do you have your learners permit yet?
O: How's your driving?
Vega: It's actually pretty good for LA. When I was younger, they actually built me a truck. The crew guys did. Because I used to live on a farm in Florida. Everybody that worked on the farm got together and built me this mini-truck. And we used to put horse feed in the back. We lived on a horse farm, with 138 horses. I would go around. I would drive this truck, at four, and feed all the horses. So, I learned to drive when I was fairly young. But, back to the car. Which one do I want? I have them in order. First, the new Range Rover. My little sister's dad has one and it drives so nice. The second one is a Porsche Cayenne. I like it. My little sisters, and everybody, will fit in that one. The third one...I'm not sure what the third one is, I forgot. I guess I like the new Volkswagen one. And the BMW...
O: No little green plug-in car?
Vega: No little plug-in car...But the color I want...Maybe dark green, or blue, or black...
O: Are you still working on your website?
Vega: Yeah. I feel so bad. We wanted to have a website up a few years ago. But we've been so busy. That's actually something we just had in our discussions. This is the right time. We really need it up now. Soon, soon it will be up.
O: Do you have a domain name yet, or anything?
Vega: No. We haven't done anything. Somebody bought alexavega.com. I'm like, "Okay...We can't use that one."
O: For little girls that might see this movie, what real life flirting techniques do you recommend?
Vega: Eye contact. But no fluttering of the eyelashes. And, for girls, a smile. You don't shake the head. But you have to have more than once of the eye contact. Because, if you look at them once, and smile...I do that to lots if people. You know? It is kind of weird, but I also think when you do approach them, you go, "Hi, my name is whatever-whatever..." You need to be comfortable with yourself. For the most part, the worse thing they can say is, "No."
O: What's next for you?
Vega: Well, I have an independent film coming out called States Evidence. And right now, I'm looking for scripts other than your regular teen movies that are out right now. Seriously, teen movies are great. It's work. And it's fun. But I want a real movie. About a real life situation. Something like Cold Mountain. Or the Professional. Something like that.
O: Is your mom still involved in your career.
Vega: Of course. I don't know what I would do if she wasn't, to be honest. She was always my manager, but finally, she decided that she didn't want to be the manager anymore, because I was getting to that stage. When I turn 18, she said that she didn't ever want that time where I'm like, "Mom, I don't want you to be my manager anymore." So she went ahead and got me a manager. It's so sad. It's weird. I'm like, "Mom, I still want you to be a part of it." I don't know what I'd do the day she wasn't. I would never say I didn't want her there. She's just fabulous. But, I do have a great, great manager now. And my mom is very supportive. I want us to always stay close. She said she was doing it for the family.
O: You didn't used to have a publicist before, either...
Vega: Mm-mm, no. It's a lot different now, especially with the way everything is. If you want...I can't explain it. As you get older, you kind of need more people. But I don't want to be that girl with a whole entourage of people. I just want to be really easy going and okay. So, that's why I have everyone else. So they can do the yelling. And I can be the sweet one.
O: Are you still in school?
Vega: I'm a junior right now.
O: What has been your worst day of school, ever?
Vega: It was freshman year of high school, so you're already going in with doubt. This wasn't even the first day of school, but you still had to go. It was orientation day. That's when the whole entire school is there. And there's a pep rally, and it's introducing you to the new high school you're going to. So, I'm there. They decide that they need the two shortest people in the crowd. So, I'm like, "Oh, great." Because I know I'm going to get picked. They chose me and somebody else. We stand up, and we're in the middle of the gym. They get two football players, and both of us...I get on one football players back, and the other guy gets on some other football player's back. And they put armor over both of our heads. They gave us these long swords made of tin foil with sprayed cheese on the end. The goal was to run towards the other football player. They were running towards each other. And you had to spear the other guy in the chest so his armor would fall off. When it got around to that...Well, it's bad enough running on top of a football player's back...That's already embarrassing. Well, they ended up spearing me in the chest. Instead of spearing the football player. They got cheese all over me, and I was wearing a button-down t-shirt. And it just ripped it all. So it was like a Janet Jackson exposure, covered in cheese. Since then, I will never live this day down. They always call me it. Cheese-titties. It is the most embarrassing, worst thing ever. And that is my name in high school. So, yeah...
O: Maybe you should credit yourself as that in your movies.
Vega: I don't think so. Thanks though...I think we're done.
Dont't forget to also check out: Sleepover