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Alexa Ellesse PenaVega (née Vega; born August 27, 1988) is an American actress, singer, and author.[1] She began her acting career at four years old, starring in the blockbuster Twister before making her breakthrough as Carmen Cortez in the Spy Kids film series. She stands at 5’6”

Vega is married to actor and Big Time Rush member Carlos PenaVega. She also guest-starred as herself in the fourth season and series finale of Big Time Rush, "Big Time Dreams".

Early life and family[]

PenaVega was born in Miami, Florida,[2] to fashion photographer and CIA student informer Baruch Vega, and former model Gina Rue. Her family moved to a horse ranch in Ocala shortly after.[2][3] Vega's father is of Colombian descent, while her mother is from the southern United States. She is the oldest of six siblings, including actress Makenzie Vega. Their family relocated again to Los Angeles, California, when Vega was four years old.[4] She attended Notre Dame Catholic High School as a teenager.[5]

Career[]

Acting[]

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Vega guest starred as a fictional version of herself in the fourth season and series finale of Big Time Rush, "Big Time Dreams".[6] Referencing her role in the Spy Kids film series, Vega is an intelligence spy, and is working to uncover a secret plot at the Tween Choice Awards show, where she encounters BTR. At the end of the episode, she reveals she had a crush on Carlos since Big Time Rush formed, and the two share a kiss and begin dating.

Other ventures[]

Vlogging[]

In May 2015, the PenaVegas began a YouTube vlog series called Lex and Los.[7] Having previously done "some sit-down" videos, Carlos said the ideas "evolved" and eventually inspired a vlog.[8] Their videos followed their daily adventures and vacations, before shifting in 2016 to cover Alexa's pregnancy with their first son, Ocean, and later those of son Kingston and daughter Rio Rey as well. In March 2022, they renamed their series and channel to "La Vida PenaVega."[9] The re-launching aims to "chronicle their family life."[10]

Brand deals and entrepreneurship[]

In August 2018, PenaVega and her husband became brand ambassadors for the multilevel marketing company Young Living.[11] The couple have promoted its essential oil products on their YouTube channel and individual social media accounts.[12][13][14] PenaVega herself is an avid backer of essential oils,[15] having said she "[uses them] for everything" and that she "tries to find the most natural choices" for her and her children.[16] In January 2020, the actress launched an Instagram account called Oil Inspired, where she promotes various oil brands.[17] On her many public platforms, PenaVega has made scientifically unfounded[18][19] claims that Young Living and other products provide "healing"[16] and other therapeutic-grade qualities, such as an alleged power to "promote feelings of wellness,"[20] and elevate "courage, confidence, and self-esteem."[21] She and her husband have encouraged using "natural remedies" to treat "illnesses and injuries," in substitute of clinically proven alternatives.[22]

In 2019, the PenaVegas founded Hapbee Company, an organic skincare brand, along with brothers Kendall and Kevin Schmidt.[23][24] The business aims to "innovate, produce, and deliver quality products in partnership with mother nature."[25] It sells products such as deodorant, jelly, and toothpaste.[13]

Authoring[]

In June 2022, the PenaVegas published a memoir titled What If Love Is The Point?: Living for Jesus in a Self-Consumed World. On October 16, 2022, they published a children's book titled Ocean's World.[26]

Personal life[]

Vega began dating American film producer Sean Covel in September 2008.[citation needed] The couple became engaged in November 2009,[27] and married on October 10, 2010, in Covel's hometown of Lead, South Dakota.[28] In July 2012, Vega announced she had filed for divorce from Covel, citing irreconcilable differences.[29]

In 2012, Vega met actor and Big Time Rush member Carlos Pena Jr. at a Bible study.[30][31] They were engaged in September 2013,[32] and married in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on January 4, 2013.[33] The couple lived together in Los Angeles, California, before relocating to Maui in 2017.[34] They have three children together: Ocean King, 5, Kingston James, 3, and Rio Rey, 2.[35]

PenaVega has described herself as a devout Christian.[36][1] She was raised in a Christian home,[37] and attended a Catholic school.[5] While her family "never went to church" in her youth, she began attending a Bible study after her divorce in 2012, and began "prioritizing" her faith.[30] She has described her faith as "the number one thing" above all else in her life.[38] The actress has starred in many "faith-based" Christian films, explaining "My husband and I said that what we want to do is to take our faith and make worldly content, but with the morals and values of what Christianity is about."[39] In 2017, the PenaVegas launched their "Cross Your Heart” clothing brand, stating their mission to "spread Love, Grace and Light across the globe."[40][41][39] In June 2022, they wrote and published a joint memoir titled What If Love Is the Point?: Living for Jesus in a Self-Consumed World.[42]

Political beliefs and activism[]

In September 2022, PenaVega and her husband Carlos featured in an episode of "The Right View" podcast, a right-wing political talk show hosted by conservative television producer Lara Trump.[43] Taking a stance on politics, Alexa explained it "isn't something I'm passionate about – it's something I'm interested in, but not super passionate about."[44] When asked if either would consider running for political office in the future, the actress quipped "I feel like we're watching Scandal in real life," alluding to the current U.S. administration led by Democratic President Joe Biden.[44] She then joked "maybe I could run for office" and "fix this mess".[44] The pair have been criticized on social media for allegedly supporting the Republican Party.[45]

In March 2023, PenaVega guest-starred in an episode of the Students for Life podcast "Speak Out,"[46] in which she declared herself a "hardcore pro-life" advocate.[47][48] Speaking to host Christine Yeargin, the actress attributed her evangelical Christian faith as motivating her stance,[49] and affirmed her belief that "you either believe in life as life as a whole, and you see babies, whether babies are in the womb or outside of the womb, as life or you don't."[48] She proudly recounted how the year prior, she had solicited an underage fan over social media and discouraged her from seeking an abortion.[49][50] PenaVega established her position as anti-abortion, explaining "I believe that you're killing life [in an abortion]," and claiming that "the child in the womb" (referring to an embryo) is biologically equivalent to "a human life."[48] The actress did not offer any scientific evidence to support her claims. When asked if rape victims were exempt from her stance, PenaVega responded, "in my personal opinion, no."[51]

PenaVega has publicly voiced her decision not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.[52][53] In October 2021, the actress expressed support for fellow Dancing with the Stars co-star Candace Bure, when she posted via Instagram a photo reading "I'm not Anti-V; I'm just pro-sunlight, exercise, real food, and vitamins."[54] Under the post, which discouraged taking medical precautions against the COVID-19 virus, PenaVega replied with a series of clapping and hand-raising emojis, as husband Carlos wrote "LOVE. SUPPORT. LET'S GO." followed by a fist-bump emoji.[55]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Morris, Andrea (June 21, 2022). "'The Word of God Is Power': Actress Alexa PenaVega Reveals Faith Helped Her Overcome Eating Disorder". CBN. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Interview with Bohemian Mama, Alexa PenaVega". Bohemian Mama (May 12, 2019). Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  3. Allen, Rick (October 4, 2015). "Movie star, 'DWTS' contender grew up locally". Ocala StarBanner. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  4. Aquino, Tara (October 11, 2013). "Personality Complex: “Machete Kills” Star Alexa Vega Is Way Past Child’s Play". Complex.com. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Kosloski, Philip (August 18, 2014). "Actress Alexa Vega on Being Christian in Hollywood". Aleteia. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  6. Vena, Jocelyn (May 1, 2013). "Exclusive: Big Time Rush Land Austin Mahone, Nick Cannon For Season Finale". MTV. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  7. "LEX & LOS - "Just The Beginning"" on YouTube. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  8. Katsaris, Michele. "Lost in Love with Carlos & Alexa PenaVega". The War Cry. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  9. Vega, Alexa [@vegaalexa] (March 2, 2022). "Guys! The VLOG is back! We have a new name “La Vida PenaVega”! So excited for the new adventures ahead!!! If you haven’t watched our vlogs CHECK THEM OUT!!!! Love you guys and thank you for always supporting us!!! (Link in bio)". Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  10. Johnson, Megan (November 3, 2022). "Alexa PenaVega doesn't want to be a 'half-butt parent': 'I want my kids to get a full version of me'". Yahoo Life. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  11. [https://www.facebook.com/YoungLiving/posts/were-excited-to-welcome-our-newest-young-living-brand-ambassadors-alexa-penavega/10157626140001982/ "We're excited to welcome our newest Young Living brand ambassadors, Alexa PenaVega, Carlos PenaVega, and Tia Mowry to the YL family!"]. Facebook (August 2, 2018). Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  12. "You have to try this!!!!!" on YouTube. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Our Private Tour of the Young Living Lavender Farm!!" on YouTube. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  14. PenaVega, Alexa [@vegaalexa] (July 30, 2018). "I love lavender!!! Ever since I was a little girl lavender has been my favorite scent!! So calming and soothing. I literally use lavender oil in EVERYTHING!! My hair wash, dryer balls, body lotion AND face lotion! (Seriously, I put it right on my face!) I even make my own Relaxing room spray with it! SO many amazing uses... I would say I am slightly obsessed with @younglivingeo essential oils :) #sponsor #yleo #youngliving Do you guys use any essential oils". Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  15. Merrill, Allison McClain (February 10, 2022). "Inside Alexa And Carlos PenaVega's Marriage". Nicki Swift. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  16. 16.0 16.1 PenaVega, Alexa (October 13, 2020). "I use essential oils for everything! Health, cleaning, healing, amazing aroma, cooking, the list goes on and on. I try to find the most natural choices for our family. If you don’t know about essential oils and their amazing benefits start reading!!! Duck Duck Go has been my go to search engine to use. You can also check out Dr. Axe or Natural Living Family website. Or the countless amount of books on eo’s.". Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  17. "Oil Inspired on Instagram". Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  18. "NAD Recommends that Young Living Essential Oils Discontinue "Therapeutic Grade" and Health-Related Claims for its Essential Oils; Advertiser to Appeal". BBB National Programs (July 22, 2020). Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  19. Greenbaum, Jeff (February 8, 2022). "Is "Therapeutic-Grade" a Claim or Puffery? (It Depends on Whom You Ask . . .)". Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  20. Oil Inspired [@oilinspired] (March 26, 2020). "What I love about "SNIFFLEEASE". .It comes pre diluted and ready for use . Naturally soothes when inhaled . Promotes feelings of wellness . Can be applied straight to chest (1-2drops) or diffused (5-10 drops) . AND it smells amazing!!!! . If you are looking for a good easing oil for your little ones make sure to keep this one in your cabinet! #essentialoils #youngliving #kidscents #sniffleease". Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  21. Oil Inspired [@oilinspired] (January 27, 2020). "Valor essential oil blend helps promote feelings of courage, confidence, and self- esteem. It smells amazing and can be applied topically or diffused. My husband literally wears it like he would cologne. I’ve heard some people say VALOR=Liquid courage. 😂❤️ Love that. So true. #HowDoYouValor? #essentialoils #yleo". Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  22. Lane, Liv (June 2, 2023). "Alexa PenaVega Says She Won’t Use Sunscreen But Still Likes Botox". Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  23. Schmidt, Kendall [@HeffronDrive] (June 19, 2019). "Some of you may or may not know this. But I’m co founder of @HapbeeCompany with @TheCarlosPena, @alexavega, and @kevingschmidt We are so proud of our products and I’d love for you to check them out! I know you’ll love it!". Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  24. "Hapbee Company - Home & Family". Hallmark Channel. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  25. "About Us". Hapbee Company. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  26. Cooper, Monica and Sam Rubin (November 14, 2022). "Carlos Penavega and his son Ocean share the inspiration for their new children’s book ‘Ocean’s World’". KTLA. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  27. "Alexa Vega Engaged to Boyfriend Sean Covel". AceShowbiz (November 21, 2009). Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  28. Thomas, Devon (October 11, 2010). "Alexa Vega of "Spy Kids" Weds Longtime Boyfriend". CBS News. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  29. Simpson, Leah (July 15, 2012). "Spy Kids actress Alexa Vega, 23, reveals end of marriage to film producer husband Sean Covel, 36". DailyMail.com. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  30. 30.0 30.1 Leung, Yasmine (July 1, 2022). "Spy Kids' Alexa PenaVega ditched showbiz for Christian life after child stardom". HITC. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  31. Farrand, Tess. "Christian Stars Carlos and Alexa PenaVega Share God-Given Recipe for a Successful Marriage". Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  32. Eggenberger, Nicole (September 12, 2013). "Alexa Vega Engaged to Carlos Pena, Jr., Congratulated by Ex-Husband Sean Covel". US Magazine. Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  33. THR Staff (January 5, 2014). "Alexa Vega Weds Big Time Rush's Carlos Pena Jr.". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  34. Falcone, Dana Rose (October 8, 2020). "Alexa and Carlos PenaVega on Leaving L.A. for a Christian Life in Hawaii: We've Never Fit the Mold". Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  35. Garner, Glenn (October 22, 2022). "Alexa PenaVega Says Her Kids 'Don't Like' 'Spy Kids', Think She 'Should Have Been Lavagirl'". People. Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  36. Gentile, Luke (June 30, 2022). "Spy Kids star and devout Christian Alexa PenaVega left Hollywood for God". Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  37. Hill, Ruth (June 4, 2016). "Interview With Actress Alexa Penavega, "Ms. Matched"". My Devotional Thoughts. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  38. Koonse, Emma (August 13, 2014). "'Sin City' Actress Talks Directors in Hollywood 'Blasting Her' for Her Faith and New Revelation-Based Film". Christian Post Reporter. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  39. 39.0 39.1 Farrand, Tess. "SPY KIDS Actress Shows There’s Fullness of Life in Committing to Jesus". MovieGuide. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  40. PenaVega, Carlos [@thecarlospena] (November 7, 2017). [https://twitter.com/thecarlospena/status/928054072346677248 "Guys! @CrossHeartOG is finally LIVE! Check out our new site/store"]. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  41. "About us". Cross Your Heart Original. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  42. Grebenyuk, Yana (June 28, 2022). "Alexa and Carlos PenaVega’s ‘What If Love Is the Point’ Book Addresses Sex Before Marriage, Family Issues and More". US Magazine. Retrieved June 18, 2023.
  43. Trump, Lara (September 15, 2022). "The Right View with Lara Trump & Alexa + Carlos PenaVega". Facebook. Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 "The Right View with Lara Trump & Alexa + Carlos PenaVega (@LaVidaPenaVega)" on YouTube (Timestamp 21:40). Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  45. Rizzo, Patrizia (October 26, 2020). "'PICK A STRUGGLE' Why do fans think actor Carlos PenaVega is a Trump supporter?". The Sun. Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  46. "Alexa PenaVega Helped Save a Baby from Abortion". Students for Life of America (March 14, 2023). Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  47. Stancavage, Dana (March 15, 2023). "How Alexa PenaVega Went from Spy Kids Actress to Pro-Life Advocate". Students for Life of America. Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 Flanders, Nancy (March 2, 2023). "'It's killing a child': 'Spy Kids' actress Alexa PenaVega recalls helping to save baby from abortion". LiveAction. Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  49. 49.0 49.1 Smith, Jacob (April 6, 2023). "Former Child Star Alexa PenaVega Opens Up About The Pro-Life Movement, Reveals She Helped Save A Baby From An Abortion". Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  50. Bosacki, T.K. (March 13, 2023). "Former Disney Star Comes Out Pro-Life, Talks Fan Out of Abortion". DisneyFanatic.com. Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  51. PenaVega, Alexa via Instagram story. January 2021. Archived here - Retrieved June 19, 2023.
  52. Lane, Liv (April 17, 2023). "Hallmark’s Alexa & Carlos PenaVega Announce 'We Are Back!'". Heavy.com. Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  53. PenaVega, Alexa via Instagram story. January 2021. Archived here - Retrieved June 19, 2023.
  54. Bure, Candace C. [@candacecbure] (October 7, 2021). "This. This is not about what I am against. This is what I am FOR. Read and understand the distinction 🙏🏻. This mama is holding the line and standing up for freedom. This should not separate us. We can have different opinions and still respect and love one another. Be bigger than that!". Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  55. "Yikes Candace, Alexa, and Carlos anti-vax… waiting for Peta to join the comments LOL. What other past DWTS celebrities or pros are anti-vax?" (October 8, 2021). Retrieved June 17, 2023.
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