Chinese producer: I'm so excited for Bale's Oscar win

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China Radio International (CRI)  talked to Zhang Weiping, producer of Zhang Yimou's new film "Nanjing Heroes" on Feb. 28, 2011, after the news of Christian Bale, male lead of Zhang's film, won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

Director Zhang Yimou and his long-time partner Zhang Weiping(R) pose for the January edition of Bazaar's Men's Style magazine in 2010.[Photo: Bazaar]

Christian Bale won Best Supporting Actor for the portrayal of a problematic boxing brother in "The Fighter" on Oscar night, Sunday, February 27, 2011 in Hollywood.

He is currently starring in Zhang Yimou's film, "Nanjing Heroes"("Jinling Shi San Chai")as lead actor. We dialed the phone number of Zhang Weiping, the producer of the film, and got a one-on-one interview with him.

CRIonline: How do you feel when you hear of Christian Bale's success during the 83rd Annual Academy Awards? Did you predict right? And in your opinion, what is his biggest advantage to be the winner?

Zhang Weiping: I'm so excited. Bale plays the lead role in our film, "Nanjing Heroes." He is an A-list Hollywood actor, and gets the golden trophy right now, and he is going to star in a Chinese film. I'm so excited and very happy for him.

Before this, Bale has taken home a Golden Globe trophy for best supporting actor in January. I believe his chance is very high. And I think his talented performance and professionalism were the biggest reasons to get the nod from Oscar's judges.

CRIonline: What is the significance of Bale's Oscar award to "Nanjing Heroes"? Will it greatly help "Nanjing Heroes" elbow into the global film market?

Zhang: Yes, definitely. Bale is to star in a Chinese film, not a Hollywood one. As the A-list Hollywood star, and the Oscar winner, he has great box office appeal. The film starring him will be shown in more than 150 countries in the world.

Few foreign people watch Chinese films. Now our government attaches great importance to the film and culture industry. If we can work with Hollywood and continue the win-win cooperation, it is of great significance for us to promote Chinese films and Chinese culture to the outside world. As we all know, the influence and audience rating of an Oscar Awards ceremony is second to that of the World Cup. Therefore, it is a good platform for people to know more about Chinese films.

CRIonline: Christian Bale is a gifted actor. How does the cooperation go between him and director Zhang Yimou. Since Bale had been in the shooting location for some time. What is your impression about him?

Zhang: Bale is dedicated to his work. He deserves to be the A-list Hollywood actor. For example, we have a man stand in for him in dangerous scenes, but he rarely uses him. If he thinks he can make it he will do it himself despite the risks. He is really dedicated to films. In this point, many Chinese actors cannot do as he does.

Bale's dedication also touched Zhang Yimou. He is satisfied with Bale's performance, especially his understanding about the script and his excellent performance during shooting.

This year's best Foreign-Language Film goes to Denmark's "In a Better World" which is a war-setting film. When asked about the odds of "Nanjing Heroes" winning the same award next year, Zhang said: "We will try our best!"

It is known that when Bale returns from the awards ceremony, the crews of "Nanjing Heroes" will hold a great celebration party for him.

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