The upcoming sequel to 2017's "It", based on the popular horror novel by Stephen King, begins with a gay couple being attacked by a group of teens while walking home. The aggressors hurl offensive slurs at the pair before one of the gay men is thrown off the bridge into the river.
And speaking to Variety, Jessica, who plays the adult Beverly Marsh - the only girl in the original Loser's Club from the first film who returns to fight against sinister clown Pennywise for a second time - revealed the scene is based on real-life events.
"(Stephen King) wrote the novel 'It' because a hate crime was committed in his childhood town," the actress shared. "That darkness, he wanted to explore and that's the first scene in our film... It's going to be hard to talk about this without crying."
The scene was inspired by the real-life murder of Charlie Howard, a gay man who was killed by a group of teens in the author's hometown of Bangor, Maine in 1984.
King manipulates the narrative, however, as the victim is then dragged out the water by Pennywise and his boyfriend is forced to watch as the clown bites down on the lifeless body. And the star claims the scene is fundamental in understanding the premise of the entire movie.
"I think you need that scene because he writes about the darkness that's under the surface," Jessica continued. "The dirt under the fingernails of these small towns or of mankind. That's what 'It' represents. It's the darkness of human behaviour."
"It Chapter Two" debuts in cinemas next month (September 2019).