Former Spy Kids star Alexa PenaVega has spoken out about her choice to leave Hollywood and move her family to rural Hawaii, describing how ‘God pushed her out’ of her celebrity life so she could concentrate on ‘fulfilling her life for Jesus.’
The 33-year-old left the limelight five years ago to live a much more private life in Maui, Hawaii, with her hubby, former popstar Carlos PenaVega, and their three kids.
Alexa, 33, and Carlos, 32, both Christians, spent years in the business before deciding in 2017, after bringing their first kid together, to transfer their family from California to Hawaii ‘to be part of a society that reflected their beliefs.’
During a discussion on her and Carlos’ impending joint biography, What If Love Is the Point? Alexa recently expressed about their choice to emigrate, stating that she had started to feel ‘stuck in the Hollywood scene.’
She described Los Angeles as so cynical and said “God dragged her away” from it so she could understand how to be a wonderful parent and wife.
Before they moved, Alexa stated that Carlos was ‘really suffering’ with ‘rejection’ after performing several auditions and not getting the jobs, noting that it ‘was just getting too much for him.’
She revealed that Carlos was having a lot of trouble with the industry. Every audition he went to, it came down to him and one other man, and the other guy always got it. The disappointment was getting to be too much for him. This continued for a whole year. She was pregnant at the time.
They’d often discussed relocating to Hawaii later in life, as a retirement plan. They also realized they didn’t want to raise their children in Los Angeles.’
Alexa explained that she wasn’t certain what they should do and looked to her faith for guidance, saying that it seemed like God was telling her that they needed to get out of here. For Carlos’ sake, it’s time.
However, the former child star revealed that she ‘wasn’t happy’ about the relocation since she ‘liked her job and LA,’ and that she felt compelled to go only for her spouse.
Then, one day, while ‘praying in her car,’ she had an understanding that she required a change just as much as he did.
She added, it froze her in her tracks since all that time she believed they were simply travelling for Carlos. But she needed to reset her heart. She was the one who was ensnared in the entertainment industry and decided to step back. Her job became an extension of herself.
God took her out of that so She could discover how to be a wonderful parent and wife. God assisted them in laying that foundation in their family. And the moment she realised it, she felt at ease.
Alexa appeared in a number of TV series as a child, including ER, Ghost Whisperer, and The Bernie Mac Show. But it wasn’t until she was cast as Carmen Cortez in the hit kids film Spy Kids in 2001 that she shot to fame.
After that, Alexa continued to act, appearing in three more Spy Kids films as well as roles in other major films such as Sleepover, Odd Girl Out, Walkout, Remember the Daze, and Machete Kills, among others.
At a bible study group in California, she met Carlos, who is most recognised for his role in the Nickelodeon programme but has also starred in Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide and Summerland.
They quickly fell in love and married in January 2014. Ocean, their first child, was born on December 7, 2016. On June 30, 2019, they received another boy, Kingston, and on May 7, 2021, they welcomed a girl, Rio.
Alexa has found love with the ‘Maui culture,’ which is all about ‘family and community,’ after relocating to Hawaii.
She exclaimed that it’s quite incredible. There are a lot of young families in Hawaii that love God and are maturing in their religion. Children are outside all day. They’re not indoors, scrolling through our phones or playing video games. They’re taking in the scenery, putting on their feet in the sand and mud. Children can be children.
Alexa recalls spending the early years of her infancy on a ranch in Florida before her family went to California, saying that the farm provided her with “some of her greatest memories.”
She stated that the little time they were there had such a big influence on her. She always knew that was what she wanted for her children. Maui culture revolves around family and community. That’s something she believes they lost sight of while living in Los Angeles.
She would say Los Angeles is a town with a lot of options. However, it does not always have a familial culture. One moves there to work and make it.
They chose to go as they were eager to be a part of a community that reflected their faith. And they discovered it in Hawaii. She is not sure, but she gets the impression that LA is cynical. But folks in Hawaii are simply living.
The mother of three said that they had “cultural shock” when they initially moved, but that they worked hard to “educate themselves” and be “courteous to the community that they were coming into.”
Throughout the book, Alexa also discussed her struggles as an adolescent with an eating issue, which she said ‘ruined her for years.’ However, she expressed that God was ultimately responsible for ‘pulling her out of it.’
She explained she woke up one morning and simply felt it was time to get treatment. And once she started talking about it with others, she felt like the chains that had been holding her back were finally breaking. It was difficult, but she made it to the other side.