Nothing makes it into the pages of Playboy—and much less onto the cover of Playboy—without Hugh Hefner's approval.
And when his editors back in Chicago first proposed the idea of getting Lindsay Lohan in the flesh...the magazine's founder wasn't convinced at first.
"It really came as a surprise to me," Hefner acknowledged in an exclusive sit-down with E! News. "I kind of had mixed emotions about it initially, and then it turned into something bigger than life."
Lohan has all the right parts in all the right places, doesn't she? What wasn't Hef sure about?
"I wasn't quite sure where she was at in her life, obviously," he said, smiling. "It depends on whether it's Tuesday or Thursday."
In fact, Hefner said, the reason he ordered that Lohan's pictorial be reshot—which it was, right before her recent five-hour stint in jail—because he wasn't satisfied with the style of the spread, finding it unflattering and not as polished-looking as he wanted.
And he's the expert.
Hefner said that he didn't speak to Lohan directly about the redo but that he communicated to the crew exactly what he wanted—and they delivered.
"The pictorial and the concept for the pictorial came from me," he explained. "She had done semi-nudes before. I wanted to do something that would be memorable. So what is more natural, since she is a huge fan of Marilyn Monroe, than do something that is a tribute to the red-velvet, Tom Kelley photo shot of Marilyn Monroe that was our very first Playmate?"
When asked about the rumor that Lohan didn't want to pose completely naked at first, but that Hefner pushed for it, he confirmed that story was true.
"I think it was essentially mama and the folks around her that kept pushing for less nudity," Hefner remarked. "And I said, ‘We're doing a nude pictorial here. We're going to do it in a very classy way and we're going to do it in a way in which it will not be forgotten.'"
Is he happy with the finished product, which he agreed to put on sale 10 days early after photos of the pictorial leaked online?
"I think it was accomplished beyond anything I could have possibly imagined," Hef said contentedly. "People will not forget this pictorial."
And, since it came out before Christmas instead of afterward, he said cheekily, "It became a stocking stuffer!"