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Director praises Bale over role


Christian Bale has been working on a film in China

Christian Bale has been working on a film in China

Christian Bale has been working on a film in China

Christian Bale has been praised by the director of the Chinese war epic Nanjing Heroes for his professionalism and willingness to forego Hollywood comforts on the film shoot.

The Fighter actor arrived in Nanjing in February and insisted on the same accommodations as the director and crew, director Zhang Yimou was quoted as saying in a statement by his production company. Bale also attended an extra's birthday party, "playing around with everyone, playing hard, without the pretence of a big star at all."

The Oscar winner and star of The Dark Knight portrays an American priest in the World War II movie. The British-born actor finished filming recently and returned to the UK, according to the statement.

"An A-list Hollywood actor travelling alone to an alien country and an alien set, working and living for several months with several hundred foreigners he doesn't know well - that is very incredible and very impressive to me," Zhang was quoted as saying.

The director best known in the West for Raise The Red Lantern and To Live called Bale a generous performer.

"When I asked him for a certain kind of performance, he gave me three approaches. When I asked for three approaches, he gave me five," he said. "He always wanted to give me more, so I have a wider range of choices. His professionalism often touched me. He is a great role model for Chinese actors."

The film is an adaptation of a Chinese-language novel by contemporary writer Yan Geling about 13 sex workers in Nanjing who volunteered to replace university students as escorts for invading Japanese soldiers.

Nanjing Heroes is scheduled to finish shooting in June and will be released in China on December 16.

PA Media