Elias Janssen | Biography 2021
Elias Janssen | Biography 2021
Mateo Solano Villanueva on 'Jane the Virgin'

Elias Janssen | Biography 2021

When 'Jane the Virgin' was heading into the final season in  2019, the CW and the cast of the dramedy reteamed for a potential spin-off of the series. Later, in January 2019, the CW confirmed that the network had ordered a pilot for the Jane the Virgin spin-off titled Jane The Novela, an anthology series based on Jane Villanueva’s novel.  The series star Gina Rodriguez—who played the lead character, Jane—also expressed her happiness on her Instagram, writing, "We got good news from the CW! Jane will be birthing a SPIN OFF!!!!! Jane The Novelas!!!." She had previously revealed the news on Twitter, captioning a picture of her character Jane and her son, Matero, portrayed by Janssen.   


Elias Janssen is a child actor, best known for his role as Mateo Solano Villanueva on the American satirical comedy telenovela Jane the Virgin (2014-2019).

Who is Elias Janssen?

Elias Janssen is a popular TV actor. He began his acting career in 2016 at the tender age of four. After guest-starring in a couple of TV series such as Office Problems (2013-2016) and Lethal Weapon (2016-2019), he landed a breakout role in CW’s satirical romantic comedy-drama series Jane the Virgin (2014-2019). For his portrayal of Mateo Solano Villanueva in Jane the Virgin, he was also nominated for ‘Best Young Actor - Television’ in the 34th Imagen Awards in 2019. In 2017, he appeared in three episodes of Fox’s romantic comedy TV series The Mindy Project (2012-2017).

Who Are Elias Janssen’s Real Parents?

Elias Janssen was born on 21 November 2011 in the United States. Born to parents Audrey Starr and Joey Janssen, he has two older siblings - one brother and one sister. His mom, Audrey, appeared in an episode of Jane the Virgin as a shopper in 2019.

Elias made his professional acting debut in an episode of Brandon Buczek’s television comedy Office Problem in 2016. In 2016, he also guest-starred in an episode of Fox’s buddy cop action comedy-drama TV series Lethal Weapon as Hunder Caldera. After appearing in a couple of minor roles, Janssen rose to fame as Mateo Solano Villanueva on The CW’s satirical romantic comedy-drama TV series Jane the Virgin (2014-2019). In 2017, he portrayed the role of Leo in three episodes of the romantic comedy TV series The Mindy Project (2012-2017).

‘Jane the Virgin’

A satirical romantic comedy-drama, Jane the Virgin, was adapted from the Venezuelan telenovela Juana la Virgen created by Perla Farías. The adapted version of the series premiered on 13 October 2014 on The CW.

The series follows the story of a young Venezuelan-American woman named Jane Gloriana Villanueva, who vows to save her virginity until marriage. But she accidentally becomes pregnant after a doctor mistakenly inseminates her with the sample of a married man named Rafael Solano. Later, Rafael turns out to be the new owner of the hotel where Jane works. The character of Jane was portrayed by Gina Rodriguez, while Justin Baldoni played Rafael. 

Following multiple adversaries, she finally gives birth to their son. Initially, the role of Jane and Rafael’s four-year-old son Mateo Solano Villanueva was portrayed by a young actor Joseph Sanders in the series’s third season. 

Later, Janssen joined the cast of Jane the Virgin in its fourth season, replacing Sanders in the role of Mateo Solano Villaneuva and continued playing the role until the end of the show. 

‘Jane the Virgin’ Narrator

In the series finale (2019), during Jane and Rafael’s wedding ceremony, Emmy-nominated voiceover actor Anthony Mendez disclosed that he was narrating the series the whole time. He also went on to reveal that his mother’s novel inspired the series. He shared that the series had a resemblance to his own story. 

He also said that he practiced the voice with his great-grandmother, who thought he would be great at voiceover work. 

Recalling how the six-year-old Janssen looked at him while he was reading the script, Mendez said, “I totally had to give him a high-five because he was staring at me like, I’m you and you’re me.” 

On the flipside, Janssen “thought it was pretty cool how he’s telling the story of his mom.” He later shared that he would miss playing the “very rambunctious, crazy, and vagabond” character of Mateo, different from his personal self. 

‘Jane the Virgin’ Season Finale 

The series ran for overall 100 episodes and concluded on 31 July 2019 after its fifth season.

Janssen appeared in 36 episodes of the series, and many people loved his adorable character. For his role in Jane the Virgin, he was also nominated for ‘Best Young Actor - Television’ in the 34th ‘Imagen Awards’ in 2019.

‘Jane the Virgin’ Spin-Off

When the series was heading into the final season in 2019, the CW and the cast of the dramedy reteamed for a potential spin-off of the series. Later, in January 2019, the CW confirmed that the network had ordered a pilot for the Jane the Virgin spin-off titled Jane The Novela, an anthology series based on Jane Villanueva’s novel. 

The series star Gina Rodriguez—who played the lead character, Jane—also expressed her happiness on her Instagram, writing, “We got good news from the CW! Jane will be birthing a SPIN OFF!!!!! Jane The Novelas!!!.” She had previously revealed the news on Twitter, captioning a picture of her character Jane and her son, Matero, portrayed by Janssen.   

In the spinoff series, Jacqueline Grace Lopez was chosen to play the lead role, Estela Lopez, while Rodriguez was assigned as the narrator.

However, in August 2019, the creator of Jane the Virgin, Jennie Snyder Urman, revealed that she had no immediate plans for the spin-off series, and “a spin-off is now unlikely as she’s ready to move to new things.”

Virtual School and Personal Interests

Janssen joined a virtual school in August 2020. Sharing a picture of his first day at a virtual school on Instagram, he revealed his several hobbies and life goals, among others. He mentioned that he enjoyed playing games such as Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Nintendo Switch Games. He also disclosed that he enjoyed rollerblading, swimming, acting, playing basketball, and spending time with his family.

He went on to mention  Captain America: Civil War (2016) as his favorite movie. Similarly, he stated that his favorite TV shows were Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts (2020) and The Mandalorian (2019).

Janssen also revealed that he aspired to become a full-time actor, director, and screenplay writer in the future.