His character falls for hers onscreen, but Zac Efron's affection for co-star Nicole Kidman goes deeper than that.
In Cannes to promote The Paperboy, in which he stars opposite the Australian siren, the heart-throb says he's "in love" with the Moulin Rouge actress.
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"I had the most lovely time in the world with Nicole. I was ecstatic the day I found out she was playing the part.
"I've been in love with her for a long time, since I saw her in Moulin Rouge," he said.
The obect of his affection shone in an electrifying orange dress as she took her place alongside Zac and Matthew McConaughey – who also stars in the Lee Daniels directed film about a woman who writes letters to a Death Row prisoner.
Nicole's daring choice of outfit was reflected in her choice of words: "I don't ever want to be pigeon-holed," she declared to reporters.
"I don't want to be told 'no, you can't be in this kind of genre, you can't play this kind of role, because you just can't do it.
"I'm not interested in being safe, and I'm willing to fail because of that."