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Page last updated at 12:22 GMT, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 13:22 UK
Zac Efron 'looking for challenge'
Zac Efron
The High School Musical star was swamped by fans at the 17 Again UK premiere

Zac Efron has revealed he's not likely to star in many musical films in the future.

Talking about his new movie 17 Again, the actor revealed that he was looking for new challenges instead.

"I had so much fun doing 17 Again and I would love to do some non-musicals," he told Newsbeat.

"I'll take every opportunity I can to stretch and to try new things and to grow as an actor and improve, that's what I'm looking for right now."

17 Again, which hits UK cinemas on Friday, stars Friends actor Matthew Perry as a middle-aged man taken back to age 17 to relive his life again - Efron stars as the younger version of his character.

'Pretty unique'

The High School Musical star admits that although the idea has been used many times before, the film's characters and script put a new twist on it.

"I read the script and I saw that this character is pretty unique," he said.

"Also it represented an opportunity for me to play a character that was completely unrelatable to my life, he goes through quite a bit, he's got kids and a wife, things I never dreamed of."

Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens
Efron with his girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens last month

The film sees Efron's character slapped a number of times in one scene, something which the actor had to admit wasn't fun.

"Honestly, I thought there was a way to 'fake slap'," he explains.

"I was like, 'What's gonna happen? Do they make a slap sound and I just move my head really quick?'

"But there's no way - Tom [Lennon, co-star] came up to me and just told me, 'Sorry dude, we're just gonna go for it'. And I'm like, 'Well, of course you say that, you're on the easy end'.

"And then cut to fifty slaps later… you could see it in the movie, my face is bright red."

Devoted fans

Although he wasn't acting alongside his girlfriend and High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens in 17 Again, Efron says they still had time together.

"She still hung out," he said. "It is nice to have your best friend on set with you everyday and that was one of the better parts of High School Musical, I think."

Efron's devoted fans follow him everywhere, something which the actor says he's grateful for.

"How can I complain about it?" he laughs. "It's an honour to have fans that are genuinely excited, that show their faces, that come out to support your films.

"I mean, I think that's pretty rare these days - I'm enjoying it, man, it's a good thing to have and it's probably fleeting."

Zac Efron was talking to Newsbeat reporter Greg McKenzie.

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