Mention the late Bill Paxton, and there’s no doubt a slew of outstanding roles and films that leap to mind. There are the classics he made with James Cameron, the name just a few: The Terminator, Aliens, True Lies, and Titanic. It still bothers Cameron that he never got him into an Avatar sequel. But outside of that partnership, Paxton also collaborated with several other greats, from Ron Howard (Apollo 13) and Jan de Bont (Twister) to Sam Raimi (A Simple Plan) and Robert Rodriguez. The latter cast Paxton as a theme park owner in the inventive Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, and he recently told us how it came about.
Robert Rodriguez has a new chapter in the long-running Spy Kids series hitting Netflix as we speak. Spy Kids: Armageddon spins off of the original films to introduce a new family led by Gina Rodriguez and Zachary Levi, with new spy children in Connor Esterson and Everly Carganilla. But while appearing on CinemaBlend’s official podcast, ReelBlend, Rodriguez spoke of the various actors who would come to him over the years and ask to BE in a Spy Kids movie. As he explained:
I've gotten so lucky when I look back at all the people that I've worked with. And the thing with these family films is that sometimes, some of them call me because they're like, ‘I want to be in one!’ That's how Bill Paxton got to be in Spy Kids 2. He called and said, ‘I just saw Spy Kids, and I saw this fun, great movie. And then there's Robert Patrick, and it's because he was in another movie with you. I should have been in that other movie. So then I could have gotten to be in Spy Kids. Because my kid can't watch anything that I make!’ So I would get calls from actors that wanted to be in it just so that their kid could watch something of theirs. And so I wrote him a role for Spy Kids 2 and 3. But sometimes, people wanna be in a family film because they just have nothing of their work that they can show any kid . Their kids are like, ‘Wait, what do you do again? I act. Well, can I see anything? Uh, not really.’
That’s a very sweet reason why Bill Paxton wanted to play the part of Dinky Winks, the owner of the Troublemaker Theme Park, in the Spy Kids movies. It’s almost as sweet as the reason why Robert Rodriguez keeps returning to the Spy Kids movies… this time collaborating on the screenplay with his 26-year-old son, Racer. The Spy Kids franchise is a family affair at the Rodriguez household. Here, listen to him talk all about it on the latest ReelBlend:
Then use your Netflix subscription to check out the newest addition to the Spy Kids saga. I’m curious where it will land in our overall ranking of the Spy Kids movies. Also, will Robert Rodriguez keep making these movies, or pass the baton to Racer in time. Maybe give ReelBlend a listen to hear his thoughts on that possibility.