Lee Rumohr is a talented actor with an impressive resume on numerous television shows. Rumohr endeared himself to fans of The CW’s long running show Supernatural as Jesse in the Season 11 episode “The Chitters”. Jesse balanced his lifelong quest to avenge the death of his brother with his commitment as a hunter. Rumohr’s stellar performance added emotional depth to Jesse. Despite his one episode guest appearance, Supernatural fans have been very vocal in their desire to see Rumohr and Hugo Ateo (who played Jesse’s partner Cesar) return to the show. These “hunter husbands” are currently happily retired to a horse farm in New Mexico. But as fans know, happily ever after doesn’t really exist on Supernatural.
I recently spoke to Lee Rumohr about acting, his experiences working on Supernatural and his passion for photography. Read what he had to say below.
You gave a wonderful performance as Jesse in the Supernatural episode, The Chitters. What was your audition like for Jesse?
“Well, let’s see…let me backtrack. I came to Vancouver last year by myself. I think that I was here for four days before my first audition for Supernatural. I went in and I felt really good about the first audition. But there’s always the doubt because you never know. I got a callback the following day which was the Tuesday. I went in there and I felt that I hadn’t delivered as well as I had in my first audition. I thought that I had shot myself in the foot. But the next day, I got a phone call saying that I was optioned for the role. I was like What?! Sometimes as actors we think too much and we get too far into our heads. It’s a very true thing for actors. The what ifs. But you can’t really think about it. You just got to let it go because you just never know. I’m glad that it turned out as it did. I really thought that I blew it (laughs).”
Before you played Jesse, had you auditioned previously for a role on Supernatural?
“No, that was my first time auditioning for Supernatural. I was here in Vancouver thirteen years ago. I did a guest role on Smallville. I left Vancouver the year that Supernatural started so I knew nothing about it. So when I came back last year, I was surprised that the show was still on. I wasn’t expecting to audition for a big character role right off the bat. Prior to playing Jesse, I never watched a full episode of the show, just a scene here or there. I kinda like that sometimes going into a show. I have a certain idea about it, but I don’t get too caught up in my head. I can create my own thing.”
What were your most memorable moments on the Supernatural set?
“The scene in the bar where we all introduce ourselves and I lay down basically what I’m here for, for revenge and everything. During one of our takes for that scene, we went outside (myself, Jensen and Jared). We were talking family stuff. I was telling them some of the struggles that my wife and I had trying to have our first child. They were just so open and cool and humble and shared some stories themselves. They wanted to relax me, to make sure that I felt comfortable. That was the first time that I had a wonderful conversation with the two of them. It makes the job much easier when you have the leads that are that giving. You don’t always get that. Those two guys…they’re very funny men. Jensen was cracking jokes. They both were (laughs). They’re cool guys. Hands down they’re probably my favorite actors of the sets I’ve worked on. You can tell that it’s one big family. That’s why the show is so successful. They both said to me that if they didn’t care about the show, so many people wouldn’t have jobs. It shows that they love what they do, the crew, other actors. Jensen even said how important it is to have two people who are equally the stars of the show because you can lean on one another when you’re having a bad day. When you have one person who is the star of the show, there is so much pressure carrying that much weight which alot of people (not in the business) looking on don’t understand. Jensen and Jared lean on each other alot. You would think that they were really brothers.”
How would you describe Jesse?
“Jesse is definitely someone who, at the time, was a loving brother. When I played that role, I kinda related it to my relationship with my brother (who is still alive) because we’re pretty close. I envisioned how I would feel if I lost my brother and alot of my performance came from that. Jesse is a strong individual, but very emotional. I’m like that. I can relate to Jesse in so many ways. Also, whether you’re in a same sex relationship or not, we’re human. Finding love is very important. The fact that Jesse has his partner as his love partner is another special thing for him. He’s a strong guy. Whether or not people help Jesse in his revenge mission isn’t going to stop him because he loved his brother so much. I would love to come back as Jesse in a whole new direction and really fight and protect. I didn’t really do any fight scenes. That’s what I love, stage combat. I had a dream actually right after I finished the episode. My dream was that I was back on the show. I didn’t know when, but in my dream, it was the very last episode of the last season. Sam and Dean needed help. Jesse helps them. Then we all walk away, live happily ever after and retire (laughs).”
You are also a marvelous photographer
( http://www.rumohrhasitphotography.com ) . Did you receive any photography training or are you mostly self taught?
“That is pretty much self taught. I got started years ago. I would like to take it further. But it’s hard trying to focus on acting and trying to have another career like photography. It is a huge passion of mine. I feel that I have a great eye for it. Photography is so freeing. To walk around and see through the eyes of the camera and to take photos of different subjects. During days that I’m not feeling as motivated, I love walking around and taking pictures.”
Are there any current projects that you are able to share with us?
“I don’t have anything really concrete right now that I can elaborate on in that sense. I’m focusing right now on taking my career to the next level. I’m studying alot. I’m taking classes. I’m studying with Ben Ratner who is a phenomenal acting coach. He’s well-known New York and Canada. He sets the bar really high. It’s hard work, but I’ve been wanting to take these classes for years. As an actor it’s important to push yourself. I’m in a phase of self discovery.”