Carla Gugino was just 27 years old when she filmed 2001’s Spy Kids, playing a secret agent who has children ages 9 and 11.

Now, Gugino is amazed at how she was cast as a mother of two school-aged children at that tender age.

Speaking with BuzzFeed, Gugino, now 52, talked about co-starring with Antonio Banderas in the original three movies, released in 2001, 2002 and 2003. Thy were spies whose children (Alexa PenaVega and Daryl Sabara) are also called into action.

“It is so funny because I was 27,” Gugino recalled. “It was a really beautiful kind of double-edged sword because I love that movie so much. And the whole experience was incredible, and the movies continue.”

“I love Ingrid Cortes,” her character. “But it was funny because I was 10 years, at least, too young for the role because I was a spy for 10 years and then somehow had children who were like 9 and 11. So it was physically totally impossible.”

At her meeting with director Robert Rodriguez, “He was like, ‘I feel like I’m looking for a mother for my kids.’ We were talking about it, and I had auditioned for him and he said, ‘I think if we do our job right, no one will ever question it.”

Gugino added, “And it’s so funny, nobody did.”

The original Spy Kids movie was a commercial success in the United States, grossing $112.7 million.

The core cast starred in the series’ first three installments, then gave way to new characters with 2011’s All the Time in the World. The action series was rebooted with last year’s Netflix movie Spy Kids: Armageddon.

Gugino currently stars in the Max political series The Girls on the Bus.


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