In the movie Fight Club, is there a plot-related reason that Raymond K. Hessel is portrayed by Joon Kim, a South Korean national with a very noticeable Asian accent? The surname Hessel seems to be British in origin, and does not match the character in the movie.

  • 3
    I've found that a lot of Asian nationals take "American names" when immigrating, perhaps if/when he immigrated he choose that particular name...
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 19:15
  • 2
    Usually American first names, because they're easier for Americans to pronounce. Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 20:20
  • 1
    Right, I was wondering if Tyler suspected Raymond of stealing someone's identity, or if there were any other clues I may have missed. Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 20:59
  • Fight Club is based on a book so its possible that an asian actor was cast to play the character which became asian in the movie simply because of the actor.
    – sanpaco
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 23:48
  • 1
    It doesn't impact your argument, but Hessel is German in origin not British.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 21:32

2 Answers 2


I don't think there's a plot-related reason (and I don't know if the book indicates the race of the character), but a Korean-American named "Raymond Hessel" isn't completely unbelievable.

In the US, there's a certain set of personal names which, while of European origin, are disproportionally found in people of Asian descent -- an American named "Eugene" born in the 1970s-1980s, for example, is more likely a child of Asian immigrants than not. "Raymond" is one of these names. (These names were popular for boys in America a generation or two earlier, who wound up as young men in Japan, Korea and Vietnam between 1945 and 1975.)

"Hessel" is a little more unusual, but either adoption or the character taking his stepfather's name could explain it.

  • 1
    Or perhaps he is of mixed race, with a Korean mother and a British father? Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 20:39

Isn't the most obvious reason everything happening is from Tyler's POV? Since he's a figment of the narrator's imagination, who's suffering from insomnia, Hessel may have existed/not existed/or been Asian at all.

  • 1
    I would suggest taking the Tour to get a better idea of how this site runs. It's not a typical forum. Plus, you'll get a badge! Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 20:37
  • 1
    Hi! This site requires us to provide sources when possible and to try an flesh out answers to get the best possible answers. If you could better explain and provide some proof to back up the claim (like part of wiki entry or part of interview coming from an EP, director, or actor) that would probably help your answer! :) Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 13:59

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .