In “Spy Kids,” Carmen Cortez transforms into an international secret agent to save her parents, who are real secret spies but have gotten into a bit of a bind. She’s cute and funny and has a pesky baby brother.
In real life, Alexa PenaVega is a beautiful, happy mother of two, raising her family in Hawaii with her husband Carlos PenaVega. Vega’s talents stretch beyond acting and reach the realms of singing and dancing. She has contributed her voice to the soundtracks of many of the films she starred in and came in sixth in season 21 of “Dancing With the Stars.” That’s pretty darn cool if you ask us.
Paul Rudd – Clueless
Clueless's Josh is a college nerd. He cares about the environment, social issues, and geopolitical foreign policy. He reads Friedrich Nietzsche for fun, and he's the step-brother of Cher.
It’s been 25 years since the film came out, so if he doesn’t really seem like a total geek, rest assured, next to a fashionista and supermodel hopeful played by Alicia Silverstone, he is a bonafide dork. In real life, clearly, he’s drop-dead gorgeous. Oh, and did we mention he co-owns a New York candy store with actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan? You don't need us to tell you that candy is cool, do you?
Mara Wilson - Matilda
We are met with Roald Dahl’s Matilda in kindergarten. The lovable child genius is played by Mara Wilson In the 1996 film version. Her character has a despicable dad who lords over the Wormwood household, and she deals with him with an ironclad anti-intellectual bent.
Wilson has since quit acting and turned to professional writing. She has even published a couple of books: "Sheeple" and "Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame." Definitely cool. Oddly enough, she doesn’t consider herself exceptionally attractive. She even tweeted “Hot people’s lives are WILD. Their Instagrams alone. They don’t even have to try.” Somehow, this makes her even cooler.
Daniel Curtis Lee – Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide
If you were a Nick kid back in the day, you remember this nerd with a certain token of affection. “Cookie” from "Ned’s Declassified" was a cyber geek with a built-in monitor screen on his eyeglass lenses. He kept his motherboard in his school locker but don't tell anyone.
Daniel Curtis Lee is a comedian, actor, and rapper and, must we say, super suave, dapper, and dashing. All the ingredients required to get his cool certificate. Daniel Curtis Lee is still showing up in TV shows here and there, with some of his most recent appearances having been in "9-1-1" and "Glee."
Chris Owen – American Pie
Chuck Sherman is a fan-favorite geek. Also known as “The Sherminator,” the character appears throughout the "American Pie" franchise. In the original 1999 film, he is a dorky high school kid who is obsessed with Arnold Schwarzenegger movies.
This time the geek gets the girl, but then again, "American Pie" is one of those vulgar teen flicks, so no surprise there. In real life, what makes Chris Owen cool is how down-to-earth he is. In 2014, when his acting career took a dip, he started waiting tables at a sushi restaurant. Can you believe that? Thankfully, his career bounced back up eventually.