The 34-year-old admitted he has always been a fan of Hefner, founder of the magazine. However he has never met Hefner, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
When asked by ShortList magazine whether he has ever met Hugh, he said: "No, although I've always been a fan of his work since I was a kid. 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."
"I play him during his 1970s persona - a much younger, more self-aware person. It's funny, watching old interviews to research the part, I saw that he's not just a smut-hound, he's pretty interesting," he said.
"His aim was to mix the mind and body in his magazine in a way that was unprecedented back then - really raw. It's a tame publication these days," he added.
"Lovelace" also stars Amanda Seyfried. It is based on the story of Linda Lovelace, the American pornographic actress who died in 2002. Franco hopes Hefner will appreciate his dignified portrayal and he has made sure to capture the darker side of porn accurately.
He added: "I tried to portray him with a bit of complexity and dignity. But there's also the need 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 my character has to deliver some of that harshness to her. I don't think Hefner has seen it yet, but I hope he'll like it."