In Netflix’s German action film ‘Sixty Minutes,’ Emilio Sakraya’s protagonist Octavio “Octa” Bergmann is a mixed martial arts fighter who gives his all to his profession and passion. Octa even sacrifices his time with his daughter Leonie to train hard and fight his opponents. He eventually gets confronted with a choice between the custody of his daughter and a match he cannot avoid. Octa then misses the match to ensure that he will be there for his daughter on her birthday. The MMA fighter struggles with several challenges that are rooted in reality, which raises the question: is he based on a real athlete?
Octa is a Fictional MMA Fighter
Octavio “Octa” Bergmann is a fictional character conceived by director Oliver Kienle and his co-writer Philip Koch. The duo then joined Emilio Sakraya for the latter to build the backstory of the MMA fighter he plays in the action-adventure movie. Even though Octa doesn’t have a real-life counterpart, his experiences as an athlete can be paralleled with the lives of several MMA fighters from all over the world. Octa is someone who has to sacrifice sharing his life with his family for the sake of establishing himself as a prominent fighter in the cage. Although he loves his daughter immensely, he has been prioritizing his career as a dedicated fighter.
In reality, several athletes, including numerous MMA fighters, must have dealt with the hard task of prioritizing their careers over their families. As far as mixed martial arts are concerned, the combat sport demands unwavering dedication to beat one’s opponents. The commitment an athlete should have includes rigid training schedules and compromises when it comes to personal life. Through Octa’s life, the film depicts what it means to be an MMA athlete, opening a window to the sacrifices a fighter needs to make to excel in cages where one is putting their body on the line.
These sacrifices are not limited to MMA fighters or any athletes. That’s one of the elements that attracted Emilio to his character Octa. In an interview, he emphasized how everybody deals with the lack of time to do something one wants to do wholeheartedly. This universal experience is the core of Octa in the movie.
Emilio Sakraya Knows Martial Arts
Emilio Sakraya joined the cast of ‘Sixty Minutes’ with immense knowledge of martial arts. As a big fan of Jackie Chan during his childhood, Emilio always wanted to be in a martial arts film. He started doing martial arts at a very young age. The 27-year-old even became a German karate champion in the year 2010. The actor believes that he prepared for the role of Octa for twenty-four years. After joining the film, he trained intensely from morning to evening for three months. He trained martial arts with Jan Knütter, a renowned figure in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The training was accompanied by his regular gym sessions.
Emilio reduced carbohydrate intake and prioritized vegetables and proteins to prepare to play Octa. He joined stunt masters Tolga Degirmen and Thomas Hacikoglu, whose credits include Netflix’s ‘The Witcher,’ for stunt training four weeks before the filming of the movie started. Not consuming alcohol for the past year and a half also helped him take care of his body and mind in a better way, according to an interview he gave to GQ Germany.