Kathryn Bigelow has praised John Boyega on the ''complexity'' in his character in 'Detroit'.

The 65-year-old Oscar-winning filmmaker helmed the new movie - which is based around the murders of three African American men during the Detroit race riots in the 1960s - and she said she ''loved the cast'', including the 'Star Wars' actor who she praised on his ''vulnerability''.

Speaking to Time Out Magazine, Bigelow said: ''I was so lucky, I love this cast.

''There are volumes that can be read on John's face, even when it's absolutely still. That character is caught between two worlds - he's wearing the uniform and yet he's also identifying with the victims.

''John was able to find the complexity, the vulnerability and the incredulity of finding himself trapped in that position.''

The film stars Boyega, Hannah Murray, Algee Smith, Will Poulter, Jack Reynor and Anthony Mackie.

Many of the characters featured in the film are based on real people, including security guard Melvin Dismukes (Boyega) and Juli Hysell (Murray) - who was injured in the riot - and Bigelow heard first-hand accounts and she said it was ''incredibly important''.

She said: ''Hearing the first-hand accounts from Melvin Dismukes, Juli Hysell and Cleveland Larry Reed was incredibly important.

''They gave me little details - Juli described how they were standing facing the wall, and she put her hand over the other girl's to comfort her - at this point they had no idea if they would survive.

''It's unimaginable. When Melvin was retelling his experience, it was difficult for him, but he wanted the story told right.''

The incident, where the three men were murdered, took place in the Algiers Motel and the hard-hitting and brutal interrogation scene took ''three weeks'' to film.

Bigelow said: ''It was intense - I shot chronologically and we probably spent three weeks in that corridor.

''We were all very happy to get out of there! But what developed was a camaraderie I've never experienced before.''