James Franco: Hefner is complex

4th Apr 13 | Music & Movies

James Franco

James Franco has discussed playing Hugh Hefner in the new biopic Lovelace.

James Franco portrays Hugh Hefner with "complexity and dignity" in a new biopic.

The actor makes a cameo in Lovelace, which tells the story of infamous adult movie star Linda Lovelace. James is proud of his depiction of the Playboy founder, insisting he brought great depth to the character.

"I tried to portray him with a bit of complexity and dignity," he told ShortList when asked how Hugh will react to his performance. "But there are also the needs of the film to address - to fit him into the kind of story the producers are trying to tell. Linda Lovelace might have started off wide-eyed about the porn industry, but it gets serious, and Hef has to deliver some of that harshness to her. I don't think he's seen it yet, but I hope he'll like it."

James also joked he has always been a huge fan of Hugh and would love to meet him face-to-face one day. The 34-year-old actor did a great deal of research for the role and feels he has developed a better understanding of the charismatic mogul.

"No [I haven't met him], although I've always been a fan of his work since I was kid (laughs). Seriously, if I could get my hands on his magazines I would - my friend's father had a stash we used to look at when he wasn't home," James recalled. "I play him during his '70s persona - a much younger, more self-aware Hef. It's funny, watching old interviews to research the part, I saw that he's not just a smut-hound, he's pretty interesting. His aim was to mix the mind and body in a way that was unprecedented back then - really raw. It's a tame publication these days."

Lovelace stars Amanda Seyfried as Linda and also features Peter Sarsgaard and Juno Temple.

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