(BEIJING) — Actor Christian Bale has reportedly been “roughed up” by security guards in China while trying to visit legal activist Chen Guangcheng. The visit to China is in support of his film titled The Flowers of War, which could be an Oscar contender.
Bale was being followed by a crew from CNN as he visited Chen, who is under house arrest. He and the camera crew were allegedly jostled by security guards in plain clothes near the dissident’s home.
The Dark Knight star told CNN, “You know, I’m not being brave doing this,” adding, “The local people who are standing up to the authorities and insisting on going to visit Chen and his family and getting beaten up for it, and my understanding, getting detained for it and everything. I want to support what they are doing.”
Chen had angered officials in 2005 when he released details of a program of forced abortions as part of China’s one-child policy. Authorities released him from a charge of “blocking traffic” in September 2010 after four years in jail.
“What I really wanted to do is to shake the man’s hand and say: ‘Thank you,’ and tell him what an inspiration he is,” Bale said.
The Flowers of War is a war drama set in 1930s China.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Stephanie Halasz, Jason Hanna and Livia Borghese, CNN
Doug Criss and Emily Smith, CNN
Chuck Johnston, CNN