Christian Bale should be embarrassed about activist visit, China says, after violence
China says Christian Bale should be embarrassed about his attempt to visit a detained blind human rights activist in the country, which resulted in him being attacked by guards.
The scuffle that ensued between the Oscar-winning 37-year-old star of the "Dark Knight Rises" and the security men, who are backed by the nation's government, was captured on camera by a CNN television news crew that accompanied him. A video of the incident, which took place on December 15, was posted online. Bale was not harmed.
A spokesperson for the country's Foreign Ministry, Liu Weimin, said he thought Bale, not China, should feel embarrassed about the event, the Associated Press news wire reported recently.
The activist, Chen Guangcheng, has been confined to his home in the village of Dongshigu for more than a year and also served time in jail for damaging property and helping to organize a protest. His campaigns against issues such as forced abortions have drawn global attention to human rights issues in China, a Communist state.
"What I really wanted to do is shake the man's hand and say, 'Thank you' and tell him what an inspiration he is," Bale told CNN in a video interview.
Earlier this month, Bale and his wife Sibi attended a premiere in Beijing to promote his new film "The Flowers of War," which was shot in China and was released there on December 16. (See photos of Christian Bale at the film premiere)
The Associated Press quoted the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson as saying that the actor was invited by director Zhang Yimou to attend the opening ceremony of the movie, adding: "But he was not invited to create a story or shoot film in a certain village. I think if you want to make up news in China, you will not be welcome here."
The movie hit several U.S. theaters earlier this month and is China's official submission for the Oscar for best foreign language film. It is also nominated for a Golden Globe, competing with Angelina Jolie's new Bosnian War film (see a full list of nominations).
"The Flowers of War" is based on the Yan Geling novel "13 Flowers of Nanjing" and is set in 1937. Bale plays a phony priest who tries to protect schoolgirls at a cathedral from invading Japanese soldiers. Meanwhile, prostitutes arrive and volunteer to replace the students as escorts for the troops.
The $94 million film is also being touted as the most expensive Chinese-made movie, the New York Times said.
Bale rose to fame as the teenage star of Steven Spielberg's 1987 film "Empire of the Sun", which is about a young English boy in China who struggles to survive after the invasion of Japanese forces during World War II.
He went on to star in films such as "Little Women," "American Psycho" and "Terminator Salvation." He made headlines in 2009 after a video of his expletive-filled confrontation on the latter film's set was leaked online. He apologized publicly for his words.
In 2010, he won his first Oscar, for his role in "The Fighter." Bale is currently known best for his role as Batman and the superhero's alter ego Bruce Wayne in Christopher Nolan's hit film series, starting with "Batman Begins" in 2005. He reprised his role in the 2008 movie "The Dark Knight" and in the third installment, "The Dark Knight Rises," which hits theaters on July 20, 2012.Bale has said the movie will be his and Nolan's final Batman film.