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'A fan bit me' jokes heartthrob Efron as he shows up on red carpet with bandaged hand

TEEN heartthrob Zac Efron confessed he is "a sap" for romantic movies at the premiere of his latest film.

The star, who found fame in the all-singing, all-dancing High School Musical films, plays a US marine who finds love after returning from Iraq in new drama The Lucky One.

Efron, whose presence reduced some fans to tears ahead of the film's screening in London, revealed: "I'm pretty romantic. I'm a sap for movies like these, I'll tell you that much."

The 24-year-old was joined on the red carpet by his co-star Taylor Schilling -- wearing a colourful Peter Pilotto dress -- Australian director Scott Hicks and author Nicholas Sparks, whose best-selling novel formed the basis of the film.

Efron sported a bandage on his left hand but insisted it was "just a tiny cut" and joked that a "a fan bit me" when asked how he got the injury.

"They put a bunch of gauze on it to make me look cool for the premiere," he added.

And the one-time teen idol admitted he could understand why his casting as a tough soldier raised some eyebrows.

"Everyone you'd talk to would say I'm wrong for this part, but at the end of the day it was a challenge and I'm proud and I think I pulled it off," he added.

Struggling to be heard above the screams for the film's leading man, director Hicks said: "Zac was prepared to make the effort to transform himself physically, but also for the mental preparation as an actor.

"I was very, very impressed by his desire to get this right, this is a really important thing for him and I think he's nailed it."

The Lucky One is released in cinemas on May 4