She’s come a long way since playing the older sister, Carmen Cortez, in the “Spy Kids” movies.
Like many young actresses, Alexa Vega began taking on sexier and sexier roles to break away from her child-star status and to be taken seriously as a Hollywood professional, including sultry spots in the films “Machete Kills” and “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.”
But the 26-year-old Vega now says she’s been challenged to rethink her career, to get out of Christian “limbo” and start making faith the “core and foundation” of everything she does, including her casting decisions.
Her newfound resolution is already making waves in Hollywood.
As WND reported, Vega stars in the new movie “The Remaining,” debuting in theaters Sept. 5, a bold combination of end-times thriller and faith-packed film that challenges audiences to evaluate their key relationships – including their relationship with God – before death comes unexpected.
The movie follows a group of post-college friends just starting life anew, as two of them celebrate their wedding day. Unbeknownst to the bride and groom, however, their wedding day is also the day of the Rapture – an event some believe the Bible predicts, when true Christians are taken to heaven and a series of catastrophic “Tribulation” disasters begin: hail and fire falling from the sky, the release of demonic “locusts,” with thundering wings and teeth like lions and stings like scorpions, and more.
“I normally don’t like scary movies and horror films,” Vega told WND. “However, I feel you can’t make a movie on the Rapture without it being scary and horrific. It isn’t a pleasant time for all. Those who are raptured don’t experience the torture the remaining endure.”
Yet Vega insists “The Remaining” is not a typical “faith” film, meant to preach to the choir: “This film translates to all sorts of people. You don’t have to be Christian to watch this movie. Wherever you are in your faith, this film gets you thinking.”
The characters, in fact, are forced by the terrifying events of Tribulation to think about what they truly believe in when all pretense is stripped away. It’s a journey, Vega told WND, that she has been forced to take herself.
“I knew right after reading this script that I had to be a part of it. My faith is everything. It is the core and foundation of everything I do. I feel like there are so many people stuck in this ‘limbo’ Christian world. Half in, half out. That was me for so long. I wasn’t a bad person; I just hadn’t made a commitment. And I loved how the film addressed that,” Vega told WND. “The arch of my character and how she comes to understand ‘true’ faith was so relatable. I feel like everyone will find a character they can feel like they relate to in this film.”
Watch a trailer for “The Remaining” below:
As for her steamy roles in “Machete Kills” and the “Sin City” sequel, which ironically came out in theaters just two weeks before “The Remaining,” Vega admitted some nuanced regret over where her career has been and newfound determination over where it’s going.
“The conversations I have had with my husband about this subject and how to handle it without upsetting anyone has been tough,” Vega told WND. “I was in a very different place with my faith two years ago when we filmed ‘Sin City.’ I am very thankful to all the amazing people I worked with on the project. However, moving forward in my career, the choices I make will be more particular.”
Vega told the Christian Post something similar.
“You can tell by those two roles alone I wasn’t necessarily where I wanted to be in my faith,” Vega admitted to the Post. “I was thankful for the opportunities, and I feel like what we did with the roles was fun, and it did make a difference in terms of how I was viewed as a kid actor making that transition, but I have grown in my faith and career and I am pickier. I am much more cautious with the roles I take, and I make sure everything makes sense and is not too sexy for no reason.”
It’s worth noting that Vega has since been cast in leading roles in faith-packed movies “23 Blast” and “The Remaining,” choices she admits have already ruffled some feathers in the film industry.
“It was a nerve-wracking thing having to talk to my team about certain roles I’m not comfortable playing because of my faith, and some of the other people were not happy,” the actress told the Christian Post. “I had some people, directors and others, not happy with it at all. I had people blast me out of the water for it and they were very rude. It just lets you know the people you need to weed out.”
Nonetheless, Vega told WND, the transition has already proven rewarding.
“Filming ‘The Remaining’ to me was incredibly impactful,” she said. “I really felt as though we were making something so special. I would wake up every morning determined to make a film that would impact people’s lives. I’ve also never been more tested during a film. The amount of tests and struggles that came up while making this film was tough! But nothing could keep me down!”