Toya Turner of Netflix’s newest sci-fi, fantasy drama, “Warrior Nun, will leave you clutching your rosary beads while sitting on the edge of your couch cushion.
Originating from Ben Dunn’s 1994 American manga-style comic book titled, “Warrior Nun Areala”, “Warrior Nun” serves as a live-action adaptation involving 19-year-old Ava (Alba Baptista), who like any adolescent is trying to find her way – only she has to do so after springing back to life with an ancient halo burned into her back. Upon uncovering the prestigious artifact in her back, Ava also discovers she is now apart of the ‘Order of The Cruciform Sword’ – a sect of nuns who pray by day but demon hunt by night.
Created by Simon Barry (“Val Helsing”, “Continuum”) Warrior Nun received its green light from Netflix after several pitches – seven to be exact. Speaking to Reel 360, Barry recounted pitching his ideas which “[Netflix] wasn’t really keen on” before finally landing the series. Only before heading into production, a few changes had to be made to give the series a modern edge – starting with the original comic book character’s wardrobe, or lack thereof.
“I checked out the comic books… and I was like oh! Yes, this is the costume… hmm.. risqué! Thankfully they gave us grace,” Turner giggled referring to her character, Shotgun Mary’s original costume. Donned in a purple teddy, leather chaps and gloves, a black choker, and rosary beads, Mary’s look went through a few changes before filming, including her race.
“I was like, ‘oh you made Shotgun Mary a black woman!’ I’m like it’s a comic book – of course, I want to be apart of this, and let’s show them that it can be something else, Turner says adding, “It just made me want to do [the series] even more.”
Turner’s ambition didn’t just stop at developing her character but engulfing her notorious traits of riding a motorcycle and shooting off shotgun rounds like a boss. “It was the most active I have probably been in my life since dodge ball in the fifth grade,” Turner says in speaking of her training. Turner’s daily activities included “boxing every day..two to three hours, riding back and forth on a motorcycle, [and] gun training for one hour every day,” and a lot of walking in their set location in Spain.
“Spain does not really mess with elevators,” Turner says with a laugh. While the terrain may have taken some adapting, Turner’s castmates and fellow sisters, Ava, Beatrice (Kristina Tonteri-Young), Lilith (Lorena Andrea), and Camila (Olivia Delcán) helped in providing a sense of comfort and familiarity.
“On set, we were there for each other,” Turner says fondly. “We had each other, and we needed each other for sure because we were all experiencing this type of lead role like this for the first time, we just had each other’s back.”
Get ready to enter the sisterhood of the ancient order and get into some bad-ass demon-slaying when Netflix’s, “Warrior Nun” premieres on July 2nd!