Christian Bale had an unpleasant encounter with local guards in eastern China. The leading man of "The Dark Knight Rises" recently attempted to visit Chen Ghuangcheng, a blind activist living under house arrest, in the village of Dongshigu. Instead of meeting the man, he got involved in a scuffle with local guards. The CNN crew, who tagged along, documented the incident.
It began with Bale telling the guards in English, "I am here to see Chen Guangcheng." They sternly replied with an order to get away and started to get physical. Amid the scuffling and yelling, the 37-year-old actor then took out a little camera and asked, "Why can I not visit this free man?" But, he quickly got shoved and dragged away by the guards, who tried to grab for the camera.
Bale and the crew finally drove back to Beijing, but the guards didn't let them go easily. They got into their own van and gave a chase for about 40 minutes. With the guards hot on their heels, the Oscar winner said, "I'm not brave doing this. The local people who are standing up to the authorities, who are visiting Chen and his family and getting beaten or detained, I want to support them."
Bale was in China to promote "The Flowers of War". He first learned about Chen when he was in the country filming the war drama set in 1930s Nanjing. Speaking to CNN about his reason to raise the international awareness of Chen, he said, "This doesn't come naturally to me, this is not what I actually enjoy - it isn't about me. But this was just a situation that said I can't look the other way."
A self-taught lawyer, Chen Guangcheng got in trouble after taking on the case of China's one-child policy that included forced sterilizations and abortions. In 2006, he was sentenced to four years in prison for damaging property and disrupting traffic during a protest. He was released from prison in September 2010, but was confined to his home along with his wife, mother and daughter. They are watched around the clock by dozens of guards.