Actor Zac Efron has said he appreciates his gay fans and would not hesitate to take on a gay role.

Efron made his remarks in an interview published in gay glossy The Advocate.

The 24-year-old Efron, who came to prominence in the Disney Channel's High School Musical, stars in the upcoming southern thriller The Paperboy from director Lee Daniels.

Efron told the magazine that he's felt “embraced” by the gay community since appearing in High School Musical and Broadway's Hairspray.

“This is actually a very special interview for me,” Efron said. “I'm extremely aware of the support I've gotten from you guys over the years and it's amazing that it's taken this long to sit down and actually discuss it, but please know that it hasn't gone unappreciated. I'm so excited to be talking to you.”

And on playing gay: “I'd never take a role just for the sake of playing gay, but I'm always looking for a role that's challenging, different, and entails some risk, so there's no doubt in my mind that one of those characters will be gay at some point in the future.”