Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Jake Frost
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Stanton Daily. Posted by Jake Frost
August 29, 1971
1988 - Present
Currently Known For:
Spy Kids, Sin City, San Andreas
“The Wonder Years” still remains one of the favorite shows for not only those that were growing up in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but also during the 1960s when the series took place. The show had many notable guest stars that would end up having long careers, including those that would appear in just one episode. Among them is Carla Gugino, who had a one episode appearance as a new girlfriend, and has turned it into a career that’s included starring roles in several blockbuster films.
Gugino was born on August 29, 1971 in Sarasota, Florida, though her mother moved to the west coast when she was two years old, spending time in both areas while growing up. When she got to her teenage years, Gugino started working as a model, and decided to take up acting at the suggestion of a family member. As it turned out, that would be the right call.
At 16 years old, Gugino would land her first acting gig by appearing on a 1988 episode of “Who’s the Boss?”. Over the next year, she’d land a couple more guest roles, by appearing on the series “Good Morning, Miss Bliss” and “ALF”. For someone starting out, those shows would end up being great exposure that she needed.
After starting her acting career on television, Gugino would land her first film role in the cult classic “Troop Beverly Hills” in 1989. For Gugino, it was the perfect opportunity, but one that she had to be sly to get. It turned out that Gugino would lie about her age to get the role, saying that “Before IMDB, you could lie about your age, and I was fully rewarded for it.”
She added that “I told the director like three weeks in, once I knew I couldn’t get fired because we’d shot enough. I was like, ‘Just so you know, I’m 16.’ I thought for sure he was going to be like, ‘No big deal!’ But he was like, ‘Gasp! I never would have hired you if I knew you were 16.’ I probably should have saved it for now when it would be really helpful to me.” The role in “Troop Beverly Hills” would be a good setup for Gugino as she then landed a role as Sydney St. James in 1989 on “Falcon Crest” and continued guest role appearances on “Ferris Bueller” and “Doogie Howser, M.D.”
In late 1991, Gugino would have an appearance in an episode of “The Wonder Years” during the fifth season. The episode, which was titled “Triangle”, involved Gugino playing the role of Sandy. During this brief stint, her character is dating older brother Wayne Arnold, but takes a certain interest in his younger brother, the main character Kevin. For once, it seemed that Wayne was acting incredibly kindly, and it was all because of Gugino’s character, even if it was for a brief period.
Following “The Wonder Years”, Gugino had a starring role in the Pauly Shore movie “Son in Law”, and followed that up with the miniseries “The Buccaneers”. The rest of the 1990s would prove to be rather successful for Gugino, who starred in the first season of “Spin City” and was in the films “Judas Kiss” and “Snake Eyes”. Heading into the new millennium, Gugino took on the role of Ingrid Cortez in the Robert Rodriguez-directed “Spy Kids”, and reprised the role for the two sequels in 2002 and 2003.
Over the past few years, Gugino has been part of some very big budgeted films that include “San Andreas”, which would be the second time that she starred alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The first came in the “Race to Witch Mountain”. She’s added appearances in “The Space Between Us” and “Gerald’s Game” in the past year, with her most recent role in 2018’s “Elizabeth Harvest”.
Meanwhile on the small screen, Gugino has continued to have recurring and starring roles, most notable in the shows “Wayward Pines” and ‘Roadies” since 2015. In 2018, she landed a starring role in “The Haunting of Hill House” that debuts on Netflix, which figures to be successful. If it does, it could potentially be the longest role that Gugino has had to date, and you can trace back her success all the way to “The Wonder Years”.
As for what you can expect from her new show, Gugino says that she’s playing a “vastly different character” than she has before. “It’s really an exploration of the haunting in ourselves, the fact that we are monsters and that families are filled with ghosts,” she said. “When I read the script there was several other things I was being asked to do but I just felt like this was something that I was so much more interested in as an actor, but also as a viewer.”
She wants to continue to grow as an actress, as well and the 47 year old has changed a lot from her younger years. “Early on I thought I had to have the answers,” she said. “Now I just want to ask questions, and find out where that will take me.”