What to Watch: Spy Kids: All The Time In The World in 4D

Here’s one for the whole family! Writer/director Robert Rodriguez has returned to his cash-cow franchise with a fourth Spy Kids film, out today in theaters nationwide. And this time he called on his fellow Mexican American Jessica Alba.

Alba, who happily jumped into a catsuit for the role, stars as a retired spy who is called back into action and learns how to balance diaper duty with saving the world from the evil Timekeeper (played by Jeremy Piven). Watch for appearances from original Spy Kids Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara. And, because no Robert Rodriguez production is complete without a cameo from his cousin Danny Trejo, look out for him, too— as Uncle Machete!

When I talked to Alba recently for our August 2011 cover story, I asked her about working on Spy Kids. Check out what the new mami to baby Haven (and 3-year-old Honor) had to say:

What was it about the Spy Kids role that drew you?

It was really Robert. He's a friend of mine and I adore him and he had this script and he asked if I wanted to be part of it and I was like, "Sure, she's a strong character." She's conflicted, you know, with her job and what she has to do and I thought that was interesting.

How is working with Robert different from other experiences?

I just admire him as an artist and a visionary. He really is part of the process from writing the script to directing; he's in the editing room, he composes the music. He is the jack-of-all-trades essentially and kind of a one-man show. I don't know what he hasn't done, really.

And he has his own studio!

Yeah and he has his own flavor and his own style. He stays true to his style, which I love. There are too many things that make him special to just choose one.

I heard you inspired him to write the movie.

Yeah, Robert came and visited me after I had Honor. I didn't leave the house for a little while and he was in town so he came to visit. Right after you have a baby it's like changing diapers and feedings and doing all those things and still trying to get back into a routine as well. And I was talking to him about juggling work and family. All of a sudden work seemed so secondary and I had never experienced that before. And he said that that sort of inspired him a bit when he wrote Spy Kids.

Tell us about your character, Marissa Wilson.

My character is a spy and becomes a mom in the movie. So she’s pregnant and then she has a baby and she basically gives up her job to be a full-time mom and she's not very good at it. And she ends up being a better mother when she's true to who she really is and goes back to being a spy. But when she tries to give it up and be Miss Susie Homemaker she's kind of a wreck. So I thought that was just a really sweet and funny look at what it is to be a first-time mom and a working mom. And then she has step kids who aren't too keen on her, which was pretty fun to play with as well.

Did Honor go on set with you?

She comes on pretty much every set except for The Killer Inside Me [laughs]. Yeah, that's a little inappropriate.