Sonam Kapoor and her sister Rhea Kapoor who produces Aisha offered the male lead to Sonam"s pal Imran Khan. At that time Imran and Sonam were already doing I Hate Luv Storys and had become great buddies. Naturally Sonam presumed Imran would happily do her home production.
But the Kapoor family was in for a shock when Imran declined the offer pleading there was not much for him to do. Anil admits Imran was indeed the first choice for Abhay Deol"s role. Says the candid star-actor, “Rhea and Sonam did send the script over to Imran. I don"t know why he didn"t do it. Maybe, he was wary of a script that was named after the heroine. But Abhay is the perfect choice".
After Imran"s refusal, Anil immediately commanded the Aisha team to rechristen the film. “I told them no hero would take a film seriously if it is named after the heroine. I ordered them to call the film 'Production No. 3" not Aisha. I was different I did so many heroine-centric films like Beta with Madhuri Dixit and Lamhe with Sridevi. Even Mr. India was more Sri"s picture although it was our home production."
Anil is very proud of his daughters for having managed Aisha all on their own. “I did nothing. I gave Sonam and Rhea a free hand. I was there to help them with inputs. But Aisha is completely their baby. Now we"re planning 2-3 new productions. One of them would definitely have Sonam in it."