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Warrior Nun's Toya Turner Got Buff For The Role Using A Shotgun

Despite the outlandish premise suggested by its name, "Warrior Nun" has attracted an impressive enough fandom to earn a 2nd season. Inspired by "Warrior Nun Areala," a comic book series by Ben Dunn, the Netflix show tells the story of Ava, an orphaned teen who suddenly awakes in a morgue with a mystical artifact buried in her back that consigns her to the Order of the Cruciform Sword. As a member of the ancient sect, Ava must now join her fellow Warrior Sisters in battling antagonist forces from both heaven and hell.

Prior to the 2nd season, which premieres November 10, one of the show's standouts, Toya Turner, has revealed how she trained for the role of Shotgun Mary — a badass nun who, you guessed it, fights primarily with shotguns. And as it turns out, there's a lot of training necessary to play such a physically demanding and integral role. Hint: it involves actual shotguns.

Turner trained with a variety of shotguns

In "Warrior Nun" lore, Shotgun Mary is an exceptionally tough member of the Warrior Sisters who acts as somewhat of a vigilante in the show's universe. On top of that, she's an expert with a shotgun (hence her name) and she knows her way around a motorcycle. All of this leads to some engrossing fight scenes. As played by Toya Turner, she's an even more compelling and imposing part of the series' ongoing battle between good and evil.

In a recent interview with Comic Book, Turner revealed some of the techniques she used to transform herself into Shotgun Mary. "As soon as I got off the plane, they threw me into this warehouse, and we just started training for a minimum of four hours a day," the actress said. "And one of the things they had told me was they had different versions of my shotgun and they would get lighter or softer as they went on. But majority of the shots that they wanted to do, I would have to hold the real one."

That's right: Sometimes Turner trained simply by holding shotguns.

The shotguns were 'very, very heavy'

According to Toya Turner, she was game to make the sacrifices necessary to inhabit Mary's physicality. Explaining why she had to stand still holding shotguns so often, she told Comic Book, "It's just because they wanted to shoot upside the barrel and get these really cool shots ... So it was just a lot of holding up the shotgun, holding it up in periods of time."

And the shotguns weren't particularly easy to hold, either. "They were very heavy. Very, very heavy," she added. "It was like the shake test. 'I needed you to hold this up and not shake.' Yeah. They were kicking my a** a little bit, but my arms appreciated it for sure."

And it all paid off in the end. "Shotgun Mary has helped me a lot with my physique for sure," Turner concluded. "I don't know if I was just really lazy or what, but she definitely woke me up for sure."

Thankfully, fans will have a chance to see Shotgun Mary again when Season 2 of "Warrior Nun" premieres on November 10 and hopefully resolves Season 1's major cliffhanger ending.