Christian Bale has run-in with Chinese guards in attempt to visit activist

Christian Bale.jpgChinese activist Chen Guangcheng has been under house arrest for 15 months after protesting the Chinese practice of forced abortion -- and this week, "The Dark Knight" actor Christian Bale offered his support. Or at least, he tried to.

Bale attempted to visit Chen, who is blind, along with a CNN camera crew while he was in China for his "Flowers of War" movie premiere. The guards who are keeping an eye on Chen, though, roughed Bale up in the process. They were in plainclothes, and shadowed the CNN van for half an hour.

"Why can I not visit this free man?" Bale asked security guards as they shoved him around. CNN reports that the guards punched him, attempting to hit his camera.

He tells CNN, "You know, I'm not being brave doing this. 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." Word is that locals who attempt to visit Chen are regularly beaten by plainclothes guards.

Bale traveled 8 hours by van to visit Chen, and was ultimately blocked from doing so. "This doesn't come naturally to me," he says. "But this was just a situation, I said, I can't look the other way."

Chen was sentenced to over 4 years of imprisonment for damaging property and disrupting traffic in a protest. He was released from jail in 2010, but is now confined to his home with his wife, mother, and daughter, with dozens of guards watching the house.
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images