On the Spot: Julia Montes on mature roles, alternative careers, and where she likes to hang out

She also told us where she loves eating in the city.

 

 

(SPOT.ph) Let’s just make it very clear that she was always Mara before she ever became Clara. Mara Hautea Schnittka was one of the child stars from Sunday habit, Goin’ Bulilit, before graduating to more mature roles and adopting her stage name, Julia Montes, to avoid confusion from a character that was bound to turn her into a household name.

 

Now she’s 19 and surrounded by success: soap operas, commercials, covers. You won’t think that though from meeting her. At the shoot for her latest Sunsilk campaign, she comes in wearing a simple sweatshirt and pants. Her hair is noticeably damp and there’s not one ounce of makeup on her face. A team comes in to make her those naturally gorgeous German-Filipino features pop. Despite coming from work the day before, there’s a twinkle in her eye that reflects a girl still in disbelief that she’s finally living her dream.

 

On being young but having mature roles

Wala po akong peg pero nagre-research ako. ’Yong first time ko magka-role na magkaroon ng anak sa movie, nagtanong talaga ako.  Kunwari sa tech, may mga anak na pala sila so nagtanong ako na parang, "Kaya niyo bang mawala ’yong  anak niyo"? Tapos sasabihin nila kung ano yung pakiramdam na hindi raw nila kakayanin ’yon. So, ’pag andun na ako sa taping, iisipin ko bilang nanay, ’di ko kayang mawala ang anak ko. May motivation lang, hinahanap ko ’yong key para mai-portray yung isang role.

 

On her favorite role so far

Si Mona [in Ikaw Lamang] (laughs), ’yong current one kasi may asawa’t anak siya. Siya lang siguro ’yong di ako masyadong nagtanong sa tao. ’Yong ’di ako masyadong nag-research. Alam ko kasi ’yong feeling niyaMaganda kasi ’yong starting point eh, as a best friend. You love the guy tapos, he doesn’t love you back. ’Yong feeling lang na kaya mong maka-relate sa starting point. Naka-relate na ako noong start na bumalik kami together as barkadaNa-process na ’yon sa isipan ko hanggang ngayon. So ngayon, kapag may mga eksena tapos ’di ko pa alam ’yong feeling, naapektuhan pa rin ako kasi alam ko na ’yong process ko as a character. So far, siya rin ’yong pinaka-challenging ko kasi eto yung tipong pag bina-backtrack ko ’yong roles ko dati, lahat ng angst na ’di nila naipakita, lahat na kay Mona.

 

In "Ikaw Lamang", Julia plays Mona, a girl who is first and foremost, inlove with her bestfriend.

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On what she considers in picking roles

’Pag worth it. Kahit naman small role ’yon basta ang gusto ko lang, hindi man ako yung bida, may sense ’yong character koHindi ’yong dahil may character lang. As much as possible, ayokong gumawa ng pa-cute na role lang (laughs). Gusto ko ’yong challenging, saka ’yong tipong hindi ko sasabihin na, "Alam ko na ’to". Gusto ko yung nacha-challenge ako na parang, "Ano kayang pakiramdam pag ganito?"


On who she wants to work with

Si Ms. Claudine Barretto and si Ms. Vilma Santos. Swerte naman ako kasi lahat ng nakakatrabaho ko mga veterans, kumbaga kasama sila sa list na,  bago ako mamataygusto kong makatrabaho (laughs). Normally, sa simula kinakakabahan ako (to work with them) pero lahat talaga sila mababait, like kunwari si Ms. Cherie (Gil) best example ’yan. At first, "Oh my gosh si Ms. Cherie yun". Pero ’pag nalaman ng mga tao ’yong personality niya in real life, mawawala ’yong tingin ng tao sa kanya na parang, "Ah sosyal ’to, ah mataray ’to", kasi sobrang giving niya na actor.

 

On how far she’ll go for a role

May limits pa rin ako. Nineteen palang ako, so ayoko pa ’yong super makakalimutan na ng tao ’yong age koMeron pa rin naman (limits) pero ’di ko rin naman sinasabi na magno-no ako sa mature roles. Open naman ako. Right now, ’pag inalok ako ng sexy, ayoko pa muna kasi hindi pa ako ready. Pero ’pag tinanong mo ako generally, wine-weigh ko lahat bago ko i-yes ori-no. Lahat naman nasa timing.

 

In Ikaw Lamang, Mona (played by Julia) and Samuel (played by Coco Martin) have a child together.


On her ultimate dream role

Ito ’yong ’di ko nasasagot sa interviews ’pag nako-caught off guard ako (laughs). Gusto ko yung type na parang Anak ni Ms. Claudine tsaka ni Ms. Vilma. Gusto ko ’yong ganoon ka-striking.

 

On whose career she’d like to emulate

Si Ms. Vilma Santos. After kasi na nag lie low siya sa showbiz, meron pa rin siyang ginagawa bilang mayor ng Batangas’Yon ’yong gusto ko kasi hindi man umikot ang mundo niya sa showbizness, may nagagawa pa rin siya in terms of service. Sa tao pa din. May connect pa rin kumbaga. Kung titignan mo, same pa rin ’yong core ng dalawang ’yon (being an actress and a public official).

 

On her bucket list

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Mag-travel alone na vacation. Naka-travel na ako alone, ’yong work. Pero gusto ko ’yong vacation naman. ’Yong talagang walang plano, walang schedule, let it go lang. (I want to travel to) Europe, Japan, and Egypt rinMarami akong nasa list pero ’yon ’yong pinaka.

 

On her ultimate barkada adventure

Ang perfect ’yong roadtrip slash food trip (laughs). ’Yong wala kayong plano for that day. Road trip lang kayo, hanap lang kayo ng mga hindi super kilalang mga resto pero ’yong alam mong masarap rin. Mahilig kasi talaga ako sa pagkain.

 

Julia in the first of the Sunsilk Hairkada series with Sarah Geronimo and Jasmine Curtis

 

On her favorite place to eat in Manila

Ang hindi ko makalimutan is ’yong sa QC area, sa Morato. Victorinos ’yong name ng restaurant. Super comfort food kasi, di mo mafi-feel na resto kasi ang ambiance niya kasi house lang na period ang feel, tapos ’yong food sobrang sarap. Sobrang sarap talaga. Pinoy food. ’Yong pagkakaluto talaga, the best.

 

On her favorite chill-out place

Adoration chapel (laughs) kasi ’di talaga ako palalabas, pero ’yon ’yong lagi kong pinupuntahan. Kahit may breaks ako, bahay lang talaga eh. Pag may pinuntahan man ako, ’yon ’yong talagang plinano ko ng matagal.

 

If you weren’t an actress, you’d be...

I think sundalo po or flight attendant

 

 

On future projects

May movie ako na gagawin (laughs). Ayun palang masasabi ko for now. Sa TV, wala pang balita kasi ongoing pa ’yong show (Ikaw Lamang).

 

On what most people don’t know about her

Alam na ng tao na matakaw ako eh (laughs). Bukod doon, kuripot ako (laughs). Pinipili ko ’yong binibili ko tapos bago ko mabili yun, kunwari, medyo too pricey, iisipin ko ng ilang beses bago bilhin. Super mahilig rin ako mag-save. May mga app ako para doon.

 

Craziest rumor?

Na buntis ako and nagyoyosi ako.

 

Biggest dream?

(blushes) Magka-Best Actress Award (laughs).

 

On avoiding the pitfalls of fame and staying grounded

Alam ko po kasi kung san ako nagsimula (which is) sa baba rin. So anytime na masyado akong nagmataas, alam ko kung saan rin ako babagsak. Ang tingin ko po kasi ganoon talaga sa mga bagay, ’pag pinaghihirapan mo, mas chine-cherish mo na ’di mo ibabalewala.

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