star Christian Bale's trip to greet a personal hero was physically thwarted by Chinese officials on Thursday, according to CNN
The actor reportedly traveled to the tiny Dongshigu Village in eastern China to come face-to-face with Chen Guangcheng, a blind, 40-year-old, self-taught lawyer and activist. Since his release from prison in September 2010, Chen has reportedly been confined to his home that is surrounded by guards who keep an eye on him and his family around the clock.
According to the news source, guards dragged Bale away from Chen's home after punching him in attempts to confiscate his camera.
"What I really wanted to do was to meet the man, shake his hand and say what an inspiration he is," Bale said.
In the 1990s, Chen took to legally advocating those he believed were victims of abusive practices by China's family-planning officials.
In the mid-aughts, Chen was sentenced to more than four years in prison for "damaging property and disrupting traffic in a protest."
Bale was in China to promote his new film The Flowers of War, which was shot there. The movie will be released in select U.S. cities on December 21.