Remember the first time Kathryn Bernardo and Julia Montes top-billed their own movie?
In August 2011, the two actresses were tapped to star a movie called Way Back Home.
They were fresh from the success of their TV series Mara Clara, which aired from October 2010 to June 2011.
Mara Clara was a remake of ABS-CBN's successful classic telenovela of the same title that aired from 1992 to 1997. Judy Ann Santos and Gladys Reyes played two young girls who were switched at birth.
Kathryn reprised the role of Judy Ann's Mara, while Julia played Gladys' Clara in the remake.
Even before Mara Clara wrapped up in June 2011, ABS-CBN already announced the movie project in March.
People thought the project would be the movie version of Mara Clara, following in the footsteps of Judy Ann and Gladys, who also starred in the 1996 film version of the telenovela.
But Star Cinema, ABS-CBN's film arm, decided to give Kathryn and Julia an original movie instead.
In Way Back Home, Kathryn and Julia played long-lost sisters who were reunited after many years.
Initially, Kathryn was supposed to be paired with her Mara Clara partner Albie Casino, while Julia Montes was supposed to be paired with AJ Perez.
Unfortunately, AJ died in an accident in April 2011. He was replaced by Sam Concepcion.
Way Back Home had already started shooting scenes when Star Cinema decided to replace Albie Casino in the project. He was replaced by Enrique Gil.
After several casting changes, Way Back Home was finally shown in cinemas on August 17, 2011.
Way Back Home was considered a success during its two-week showing in theaters. It raked in PHP25.7 million in the box office.
KATHRYN ON WORKING WITH JULIA
During Kathryn's recent appearance in the online series Actor's Cue on May 29, she recalled doing the project with Julia, whom she considers as one of her closest friends in showbiz.
Actor's Cue is an ongoing online series in the #ExtendTheLove Facebook page, which aims to raise funds for displaced entertainment workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Kathryn, she was lucky to be acting alongside Julia for her first full-length film, especially since she had no love team at the time.
Kathryn said, “Ang suwerte ko noon kasi kasama ko si Julia. Malapit ko siyang kaibigan. Alam mo iyong feeling na wala ka pang love team noon, wala pang DJ [Daniel Padilla] pero meron kang kasama na mag-adjust sa gano'ng mundo?
"Suwerte ako noon na kasama ko si Julia."
She continued, "Iba talaga iyong adjustment pag nag-te-taping ka ng teleserye 'tapos gumawa ka ng pelikula.
"Hindi ko alam iyong mga technical sides. Hindi ko alam na marami palang shots pagka movie, na dapat pala konti lang iyong acting mo kasi malaki iyong screen.
"Ang hirap noon kasi parang ibang mundo siya."
A month after Way Back Home, in September 2011, Kathryn's love team with Daniel Padilla was born.
The two were first paired in the weekly series Growing Up, where Julia was paired with Diego Loyzaga.
After Growing Up, Kathryn and Julia worked on different projects.
Julia took on the more mature route as a dramatic actress, top-billing teleseryes such as Walang Hanggan (2012), Muling Buksan Ang Puso (2013), Doble Kara (2015), and Asintado (2018).
Kathryn, on the other hand, did TV and movie projects with Daniel.
Some of these were Princess and I (2012), Got To Believe (2013), She's Dating The Gangster (2014), Crazy Beautiful You (2015), Pangako Sa 'Yo (2015), Barcelona (2016), La Luna Sangre (2017), and The Hows of Us (2018).
Before the lockdown, Kathryn and Daniel were supposed to top-bill a movie called After Forever, which was to be shot in San Francisco.
During her Actor's Cue session, Kathryn said it's such a breeze working with Daniel, who is also her boyfriend in real life.
She explained, "Kami naman ni DJ, kapag may eksena, ang suwerte ko kasi kahit hindi siya kita, alam mo tingnan niya lang ako, parang nag-uusap na kami.
"So we’re very lucky kapag nakasama mo iyong taong napaka-generous kasi hindi madali umarte and kailangan mo talaga ng tulong ng lahat, iyong participation ng lahat."