Oscar Isaac says 'The Promise' needed a love story to balance the horror shown in the movie which deals with the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

In the film, the 38-year-old actor - who plays Poe Dameron in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' - plays character Michael who meets dance instructor Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) and their Armenian heritages explodes a rivalry with Ana's boyfriend (Christian Bale).

Oscar admits the real-life events that director Terry George deals with on screen are so distressing that the film needed the love triangle set against the backdrop of what happened.

In an interview with the Metro newspaper, he said: ''I think there's a sense of audiences saying: 'I want to go somewhere, switch my mind off and not think about reality, I just want to have fun'. But watching a film shouldn't only be about fun. That isn't the most important thing. And it can be very rewarding to watch things that aren't just about shiny objects and loud noises. But it is a tough balance and I think that is why Terry George added this love triangle to hopefully draw in people who might otherwise not watch it. There is a lot of beauty here and there are elements that are feel-good to watch, while also shedding light on a part of history that people have attempted to erase.''

Oscar - who was born in Guatemala - readily admits he didn't know much about the genocide which was the Ottoman government's systematic extermination of 1.5 million Armenians within the Ottoman Empire and its successor state, the Republic of Turkey.

However, he made sure that he researched the events before he started shooting the movie.

He said: ''I didn't know much about it at all, to my shame. But that's like a lot of the world and it's part of the extra pain of this story. There are the horrors that people endured and which some survived but then to have the entire world be like: 'yeah we're not so sure about that, let's just not talk about it. It's just not going to happen again' is doubly horrifying. Then, 30 years later, there was World War II and now we see the exact same things happening again in the same parts of the world.''