Julia Montes is a Filipino actress who found mainstream success with her role in the remake of the soap opera ‘Mara Clara’ although she had been acting on television since her childhood. As a child actress, her most significant role was in ‘Goin' Bulilit,’ a kids’ comedy show. Her popularity in ‘Mara Clara’ led her to sign her first film, a family drama called ‘Way Back Home’. Since then there has been no looking back for her as she proceeded to do many films and television shows in the ensuing years. Film and television critics describe her as a treasure trove of talent, and refer to her as "Royal Princess of Drama". She is a versatile actress, and has played a range of different kinds of roles. She is a director’s actress and has often been praised for her versatility and maturity. In the showbiz industry, she is well known for her effortless acting and poignant performances. Julia Montes is passionate about her craft, and has worked hard to build a bright career in the showbiz industry. She has studied acting, and had started her acting career at the age of five with commercials. Besides her acting capabilities, she is a down-to-earth and family-oriented person. She always says that she never competes with anyone in the entertainment industry; the only reason she ventured into showbiz was to earn money to support her family and she is here basically for the financial gains.
Childhood & Early Life
Julia Montes was born as Mara Hautea Schnittka on March 19, 1995, in Pandacan, Manila, Philippines. Her mother Gemma Hautea is a Filipino, and father Martin Schnittka is a German, who left them when she was a baby. Her mother, who is deaf, raised her with the help of her grandmother, Flory Hautea. She also has two younger brothers, Paolo and Patrick.
Julia was good in studies, and believes that education can give you a good life. She studied in Blessed Hope Christian School and graduated with good grades in 2011. She also studied acting in Star Magic.
She is family-oriented and started working at a very tender age to support her family. Her grandmother started contacting modeling agencies, and Julia began giving auditions from the age of five.
Julia still remembers her days of struggle, when she and her grandmother visited agencies and went for castings, hurrying from school to shoots. In the process, she missed out on family time and also could not spend time with childhood friends.
As a child, she dreamed of becoming a soldier, a flight attendant, and a chef. Acting was never her priority; it came her way out of need. In fact, in the absence of her father, she was the breadwinner of her family.
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Julia Montes bagged three endorsements with popular brands when she was a child—a milk brand, a chocolate snack, and a fast food chain.
Her roles in commercials led to opportunities in television shows. She first did minor roles in GMA shows like ‘Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga’ in 2001. Next, she did an anthology/drama show ‘Magpakailanman’. She did many other guest roles on ABS-CBN's television shows like ‘Hiram’ in 2004.
Her acting capabilities landed her a permanent spot in the kids show ‘Goin' Bulilit’ in 2005, wherein she played different roles till she left the show in 2008.
In 2008, she also featured in other television series like ‘Ligaw na Bulaklak’ and ‘I Love Betty La Fea’. That year, she appeared in a ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ episode titled ‘Card’. In 2009, she played a guest role in ‘Katorse’s finale episode, wherein she portrayed Nellie, a shy girl. She portrayed the teenage Mara in the show ‘Gimik 2010.’
In 2010, Julia’s breakthrough role came in with the classic soap opera ‘Mara Clara’, wherein she played the role of a spoiled teenage girl. It was her first significant role that shot her to fame. The finale episode of the series received the highest rating to date for soaps aired on ABS-CBN. Julia’s role as the anti-heroine received acclaim, and helped her get lead roles in films and television.
In 2011, she made her film debut in a family drama ‘Way Back Home’, wherein she portrayed Jessica. Her acting capabilities were noticed once again, and she received several positive media reviews. That same year, she did the youth-oriented show titled ‘Growing Up’.
Her considerable success as a child and teen actress enabled her to earn substantial money for her family. She bought her own house at the age of 17, and set up a salon for her grandmother who had sacrificed her salon business in order to support Julia’s efforts to start a career in the entertainment industry.
In 2012–13, she starred in ‘Walang Hanggan’, a romantic drama series. It was one of her significant performances.
In 2013, she appeared in another ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ episode titled ‘Krus’. That same year, Julia Montes appeared in another television series ‘Muling Buksan Ang Puso’, which is about forgiveness and second chances. It was ranked 10th in Top 15 programs in 2013.
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In 2014, she featured in a period drama series ‘Ikaw Lamang’. She received positive reviews for her performance, and was nominated for the PMPC Star Award for Best Drama Supporting Actress Award.
She starred in the romantic horror film ‘Halik sa Hangin’ in 2015, and in a new chapter of Wansapanataym's summer special called ‘Yamishita's Treasures’. The same year, she featured in a ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ episode titled ‘Picture’. She also appeared in a double role in ‘Doble Kara’, which is about the lives of twin sisters.
Star Magic had been managing her career since she started as a child actress. However, in November 2016, she moved to Cornerstone Entertainment, which she explained as a “necessary move”.
In 2016, she starred in the family drama ‘Padre de Familia’, and in 2017, she starred in the drama ‘Victims of Love’, and in ‘Wansapanataym: Annika Pintasera.’
Julia’s breakthrough role in the soap ‘Mara Clara’ is among her most significant works. Her portrayal of the character Clara del Valle was much appreciated. The TV show was one of the longest-running soap operas in the nation.
Her debut film ‘Way Back Home’ was another one of her best performances. Her roles in ‘Walang ‘Hanggan’ and ‘Doble Kara’ were also significant; she received accolades and awards for her performances in these. ‘Walang Hanggan’ was the most watched show in 2012. It was aired in foreign countries as well.
Her films ‘The Reunion’, and ‘The Strangers’ were also very successful projects. The former collected record-breaking revenues at the box office.
Awards & Achievements
Julia Montes won a FAMAS Award for the German Moreno Youth Achievement in 2011.
She won two Gawad Tanglaw Awards for Best Actress for ‘Ikaw Lamang’, and ‘Doble Kara’ in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
She received the GMMSF Box-Office Entertainment Award in the category Princess of Philippine Television for her role in ‘Walang Hanggan’ in 2013.
She appeared in ‘Yes!’ magazine's annual listing of the ‘100 Most Beautiful Stars’ in 2013. She has also been listed in FHM's ‘100 Sexiest Women’ list for four consecutive years.
In 2015, Julia Montes did a culinary course at the Center for Culinary Arts, Manila.
In 2016, she met her biological father, Martin Schnittka, and on Instagram she thanked her German cousin and her fans for making the meeting possible. Her father has apologized for leaving her.
It is said that she is dating her former co-star Coco Martin.
In June 2017, Julia became a target of a death hoax. The news of her death spread like wild fire, causing concern to her fans. Later it was proved to be a hoax.