While filming a scene from "Sleepover" at the Del Amo Mall in Southern California, Alexa Vega spoke about how it feels to take on the added responsibility of being the movie's star, her plans for the future, growing up on camera, and life without "Spy Kids."
What attracted you to "Sleepover?"
When I first read this script, I thought two things: this could either be very cheesy, or this could be very real. And when I was talking to them about it, I had just met Joe [Nussbaum] the director and he told me he wants this to be either the Sixteen Candles or the Ferris Buellers Day Off of our time. Thats what sold me on it just because those were two very real movies. I wanted something with a love story, and it has it in it.
Basically, Im in high school right now - like regular high school - [and] I experienced a regular junior high. theres so much reality to this film, of what you have to go through to be cool or whatever, but this has great messages in it. Its something I think that young girls [and] parents would enjoy, even some young guys because theres plenty of cute girls running around here on set.
How is todays scene going?
Weve been taking apart mannequins, putting clothes on them, and hooking them back together. Its such a workout, Im telling you. You have to pick em up, put em back down, [and] put em in the right little spot. Its a lot of memorizing because you have to do it exactly the same way each time. You cant just take it off, fling it any way you want. You have to organize it. Its a long process, but its a lot of fun.
Did you have a real sleepover with the girls?
The "Sleepover" sleepover? Yeah. I wanted to try to get to know the girls more.
Does that help the movie?
Yeah, I think so. It definitely helps. Mika [Boorem] and I got to know each other really well. You can just tell on camera were just really good friends. Its kind of funny though because I became great friends with the guys thatve been chasing us the whole time throughout the movie - the three guys. Were supposed to be so annoyed by them, but I love them so much. Theyre the coolest guys. See, Im more of a tomboy. I'm more the athletic [type], like I play water polo, I run cross country, so I get along with guys easier.
I think it really makes a difference when you know the people that youre working with, when you develop a relationship. Even if its just a working relationship like getting to know people on set. I hang out with all the crew on set. It just makes it easier to work. You feel more comfortable around everyone.
Did you organize the sleepover?
I kind of came up with the idea because I thought it would be fun for all the girls and right after, the next day, we would all go to Universal Studios and it would be cool. We had fun but sleepovers dont always go well. Its kind of hard to please everyone - thats what Ive always found. Guys are so easygoing and girls are a little harder to please, but thats okay.
Is this the big action scene today?
I would have to say this is probably the least action in the movie between me kissing Steve, and me falling out of this tree house, which is kind of freaky.
That mustve been nothing compared to "Spy Kids."
I know. Thats what was great. It was funny because when I first got here, they were like, So, have you ever been in a harness before? And theyre like, Wait a minute. Like, I lived in a harness for four years. But it also makes such a difference going from "Spy Kids" to something else, because it makes it so much easier to go do other stunts. Youre just used to it so its easy to go to. Like lets say the tree house. Im falling out of it. Its easy to do that now because Ive learned how. So I think not only do you learn acting, you learn more stunts just going as an actor, and a person, going from movie to movie. You just pick up so many different little maneuvers, I guess.
It looks like you have to do a lot more takes here than on a Robert Rodriguez film.
Thats true. There are a lot more takes, but also because Robert just kind of kept it rolling because it wasnt film, it was all video.
Was it hard to go back to film?
I have to be honest, it is a little weird because Im not used to hearing "Checking the gate." For the past three years, its always just been easy, moving onto the next thing. This ones checking the gate, reloading film. It takes a lot longer. Its a longer process. Its a lot different than what Im used to. But then again, when I first started doing all the digital stuff that Robert was doing, I was like, Whoa, its so fast.