MANILA, Philippines – Young actress Julia Montes' “tween” phase on TV sure was short-lived.
An alumnus of kiddie gag show "Goin' Bulilit," Montes portrayed angsty teenager Clara in the 2010 remake of the 90's hit soap, and in 2011, carried over her tween team-up with actor Diego Loyzaga in teen drama series "Growing Up."
In the same year, she reprised her on-screen rivalry with actress Kathryn Bernardo in the film "Way Back Home," where, for a third time in a row, she donned a high school uniform for a leading role.
Now, at 17 years old, Montes portrays a married woman in top-rating series "Walang Hanggan." Her character, Katerina, is her most challenging portrayal yet, Montes said.
“Noong una medyo nabigla ako, hindi ko alam kung saan ako huhugot kasi before sanay ako ng normal na huhugutan na ka-age bracket ko. So ngayon talagang effort pero masaya ako kasi mas napapakita ko yung puwede ko pang ibigay sa acting,” she said.
Proving she's done her role justice-- that is, shedding her tween star image--Montes recently debuted at number 68 in the "Sexiest Women in the World" list of men's magazine FHM.
The list, which ranks actress Sam Pinto at number 1, is the result of polling 17 million votes cast online.
At her age, Montes has achieved more than being hailed "sexiest." For her birthday last March, the young actress purchased a new house for her family, and early this month, opened a salon business with her grandmother.
Montes continues to portray Katerina in "Walang Hanggan," which airs weeknights during ABS-CBN's Primetime Bida block.