However later when the actress changed her mind, the film fell in the lap of Onir's good friend and actor Sanjay Suri. Onir was very sure on making I Am on the child abuse subject. When Karisma withdrew from the film, Onir changed the female child character to male and asked Sanjay to be the protagonist of I Am.
Onir told to Mid Day, "Karisma liked the script and decided to make a comeback with it. We were in talks. The last thing she told me that she wasn't sure if it's the right time for her to make a comeback. That was the end of it. As I wanted to tell the story, I turned Karisma's character to a male character and decided to cast Sanjay in it."
Onir informed that it was difficult to change a female protagonist to male. He told that sexual abuse affect boys and girls differently. “The male victim goes into a denial mode, questions his manhood and is also confused about his sexual identity, whereas a woman has to encounter abuse every single day. Thus, the way one handles it is different," Onir explained.
The director however told that there something in common that concerns both male and female. He added, "It's the fear of commitment and lack of trust, as one has been betrayed by someone very close. It also makes one feel lonely and guilty."