Elias-Janssen
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.

Career

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 Hunter 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).

‘Office Problem’

Janssen appeared in the role of Elias in the comedy television series Office Problem’s one episode titled ‘Drugs’ that was aired on 16 May 2016. The series itself premiered on 7 January 2013. Office Problems explored the awkwardness of common office misadventures in a comedic way in each episode. According to IMDb, the series ran for 39 episodes for four seasons and the final episode of the series was aired on 8 June 2016.

‘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. Sanders could not commit to the role for another season of the series because he became busy with school, according to Bustle.

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.

Character: Mateo

On Jane the Virgin, Mateo was born on 14 May 2015 as the son of Jane Villanueva and Rafael Solano. Mateo was a sweet and generous boy but he created chaos for people around him. He spent his early life dividing his time between two homes since his parents weren’t together. However, he felt elated when his parents reunited and eventually got married.

‘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.”

‘Lethal Weapon’

In 2016, Janssen made a guest appearance in the Fox buddy cop action comedy-drama television series Lethal Weapon. He appeared in the role of Hunter Caldera in one episode titled ‘Fashion Police’ of the series. The episode aired on16 November 2016. 

Based on the hit film series of the same name, the Lethal Weapon television series was set in modern-day Los Angeles. It follows a Texas cop and former Navy Seal Martin Riggs (played by Clayne Crawford) who loses his wife and unborn baby. He was transferred to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) where he had to work with LAPD detective Roger Murtaugh (played by Damon Wayans) who works in a crime-ridden beat. Roger Murtaugh had been trying to maintain a low-stress level in his life since he had recently suffered a minor heart attack. Even though the duo can’t stand each other at first, they eventually get used to each other as partners. 

Created by Matthew Miller, the Lethal Weapon television series premiered on 21 September 2016. The series was later canceled in May 2019 after three seasons.

‘The Mindy Project’

Jassen also appeared in a recurring role of Leo in the romantic comedy television series The Mindy Project, created and starred by Mindy Kaling. He played in three episodes of the series such as ‘A Romantical Decouplement,’ ‘Leo’s Girlfriend,’ and ‘Girl Gone Wild’ that aired in September and October of the year 2017.

The Mindy Project follows a young OB/GYN (obstetrician/gynecologist) Mindy Lahiri (played by Kaling) who tries to balance her personal and professional life. Mindi Lahiri tries to become the perfect woman, find the perfect man, and have the perfect romantic life.

The Mindy Project premiered back on 25 September 2012 on Fox. Fox canceled the series after three seasons. Subsequently, Hulu picked up the show on 15 May 2015. The series ended on 14 November 2017 after its sixth and final season.

‘Mimetic’

Janssen will be appearing in a role of a boy in the upcoming short film Mimetic, alongside his real mother Audrey Starr. Written and directed by Benjamin James, the short is in its post-production phase.

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.

TV Sisters

In an Instagram post dated 11 April 2020, Janssen wished National Sibling’s Day to his television sisters, twins Ella and Mia Allan along with their photos together. Janssen and the Allan sisters together had appeared on Jane The Virgin in multiple episodes. On his Instagram post, Janssen also mentioned two of his favorite episodes the trio played together. He has posted several other photos and videos together with the twin sisters on his Instagram account.

Aside from Jane the Virgin, the Allan twins appeared in television series like Single Parents from 2018 to 2020, Young Sheldon in 2018, Parenthood from 2012 to 2015, and Sons of Anarchy in 2011. They also played in television movies such as Most Likely To (2018), Raised by Wolves (2017), and How We Live (2015).

Jamming

In January 2018, Janssen started attending Jam sessions. He has posted a few videos on his Instagram account jamming the drums. 

On Racism

Janssen revealed in his Instagram post dated 11 March 2021 that he belongs to mixed ancestry and he is Asian American. He posted two pictures of him, one donning a Korean attire, and the second with his grandmother and great-grandmother in Korea. He also voiced against racism and condemned race-based hate and violence, captioning, “I am a mixed bag. I am a little bit of this and a little bit of that. But one thing that I am and am proud to be is Asian American. Racism should have no place in our hearts and communities. Together we can say NO to hate and violence.” In another Instagram post dated 17 March 2021, he posted the photo that read 'Stop Asian Hate’ with the caption “Let’s spread love not hate.” 

He also wrote the hashtags, including (stopasianhate), (hateisavirus), (standforasians), (stopasianhatecrimes), (theracismvirus), (proudtobeasian), and (proudtobekorean).

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