I’ve been taught from a young age to be nice to people so it’s nice to play someone who’s a serial killer.”

The Sussex countryside may be bright and vibrant in Poppy and Staten Roe’s first feature film but the comedy is dark.

Titled A Serial Killer’s Guide To Life, the film follows self-help guru and murderer Val Stone, played by Poppy, as she travels around Sussex with down-and-out protege Lou Farnt.

“We shot it in two weeks in 28 locations,” said Poppy, who lives in Hurstpierpoint with husband Staten.

“We were moving every day with 30 people on the road, five of us crammed in each car.

“I wanted to get the South Downs and the coast in the film and get the massive countryside shots where everything looks beautiful.

“Also my parents live in Ditchling so we could get free childcare.

“My daughter came on set sometimes, obviously not for the scary bits I should hasten to add.”

Having raised £30,000 in a crowdfunding campaign to make the film, the couple knew they needed to prove their worth.

With Staten, 38, in the director’s chair and Poppy, 37, co-starring alongside Katie Brayben, what was it like to make a feature film as a couple?

“It was really good fun, we agreed all of the time,” Poppy said.

“But I did have some moments.

“During the shoot we lost a location and had to move somewhere else.

“One of our actor’s dates clashed and we had to get another.

“I dealt with it by going to the fridge and getting a salad bag out, punching it, and delicately placing it back in the fridge.

“I was in a serial killer mindset.”

But filming was just the beginning.

“We edited it together in the spare bedroom with Star Wars figures on the desk,”

Poppy said.

“What we didn’t have was money so we had to do a lot of preparation.

“One day we had to do the sound mixing in Pinewood Studios and they gave us the biggest room where they did the sound mixing for Star Wars.

“We only had it for one day so we were in there for 12 hours straight.”

Poppy is no stranger to playing darker characters, have starred as the owner of a failing euthanasia clinic in short film This Way Out.

But the actor did not just study serial killers to get into character.

“I watched American Psycho, The Shining, those classics,” Poppy said.

“But what helps me most was watching real-life self-help gurus who I won’t name because I’ll get in trouble.

“I looked a lot at their body language.

“It’s almost fascinating the belief they have in their methods.

“Sure, my character is a serial killer,

but it’s nice to play someone with such inner confidence.

“She just doesn’t understand people who don’t have ambition and will just remove them if they don’t get out of the way.”

Despite the film’s focus on murder, it is self-help that Staten and Poppy have taken aim at.

“Staten wanted to satirise the self-help industry and be a bit more mad,” Poppy said.

“We wanted to satirise the quackery of those people who jump on vulnerable people and tell them how to live their life.

“Dark comedy is a nice way to get taboo issues talked about.

“It’s very gruesome but there’s some humour there too.

“Staten has got a very dark sense of humour where you laugh but you feel like you shouldn’t.”

But it is Sussex that takes pride of place in A Serial Killer’s Guide to Life.

The film was screened to sold-out crowd at Lewes Depot cinema last month.

“People were turned away, it was nice to show it to all the locals,” Poppy said.

“Everyone recognised Lewes, Seaford, and all the little country roads.”