Zac Efron says Nicole Kidman helped make him a man.

The 24-year-old actor thinks shooting raunchy scenes with the Australian beauty in 'The Paperboy' was a formative experience and admits sharing an improvised dance with her made him feel like a real man.

Speaking on the 'Ellen DeGeneres Show', Zac gushed: ''Nicole is so amazing to work with ... You never know what to expect. This was supposed to be a very serious scene.

''And before I knew it we were improvising an entire dance in the rain. ... It's one of my favourite scenes in the movie. ...That is was one of the coolest things I've ever done. It is the day I think I became a man.''

Despite Nicole's influence, the Hollywood hunk - who famously dated his 'High School Musical' co-star Vanessa Hudgens - is currently single because he finds the dating process awkward and ''forced''.

He sighed: ''Dating is kind of hard. Like dinner or something like that. Like a forced awkward situation is very strange.

''Especially for me, for some reason. I like to go and do something adventurous. I like to go out and do some sort of crazy activity.''

Zac also said he is very cautious when meeting someone new as he worries the girl might just be interested in his fame.

He explained: ''You always have to be careful, I guess, about that kind of thing. Every day is a new experience and I take it as it comes.

''Some people I worry about, some I really don't have to.''