Bale Says He Liked Working In China, But China May Veto His Return
Christian Bale said at the Berlin Festival on Monday that he had a "fantastic time" working with famed Chinese director Zhang Yimou on The Flowers of War and found working in an all-Chinese-language movie challenging. "I would have been very envious if anybody else had taken the part," he told a news conference. The film is set during the 1937-38 Japanese occupation of Nanking, when thousands of Chinese were reportedly massacred. But while saying that he found some "correlation" between the events depicted in the movie and the treatment of Chinese rights activist Chen Guangcheng, whom he attempted to visit while he was filming in China, Bale insisted that he wanted to keep his role in the movie and his role as an advocate for Chen separate "out of respect for my fellow filmmakers." China has accused Bale of "fabricating" news by attempting to visit Chen with a CNN crew in tow, When a reporter for Agence France-Presse, the French wire service, asked a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman whether China was embarrassed by Bale's actions, the spokesman replied "I think it is the relevant actor who should feel embarrassed instead of the Chinese side." AFP said that the spokesman suggested that Bale would not be allowed to return to China.