Bollywood director Ken Ghosh insists that Jiah Khan's ouster from his upcoming film had nothing to do with her acting capabilities. He says he roped in Genelia D'Souza as the heroine's character changed over time.
Ken rubbishes rumours that he made the change overnight as he didn't like the rushes of whatever had been shot of Jiah so far. And he stresses that he would love to work with the spunky actress in future projects.
"Jiah is a very good actress and has her own space where she performs really well. She being replaced has nothing to do with her capabilities as an actress. She is very good at what she does and I'm 100 percent sure that I will rope her in again when an opportunity comes," Ken told IANS.
So how did Genelia come into the picture?
"Honestly speaking, it was the sea change in the female protagonist's character that drove me to make the change. Earlier the character was a lot hotter and Jiah fitted the bill. Now she's turned much cuter and Genelia turned out to be the perfect choice," Ken explained.
"At the end of the day Jiah and Genelia are quite different, whether in terms of looks or attitude. There is a different kind of energy expected from the newly-written character and I'm getting that from Genelia," he added.
Produced by UTV Motion Pictures, the film also stars Shahid Kapur. The director said they were yet to zero in on a good title, but added that it would not be called "Yahoo" as reported in a section of the media.
Ken, who has earlier made films like "Ishq Vishk" and "Fida", says he didn't want to talk earler about Genelia replacing Jiah as it could have led to misunderstandings.
"I didn't comment anything on record earlier since whatever I would have said, that would have been misconstrued. There were speculations of all kinds doing the rounds and there was no point clarifying or justifying my stand," he said.
After shooting for a substantial portion of the film, Jiah was obviously disturbed at being replaced.
"Of course it was quite painful for her but then we had to look at the final results. Frankly, it didn't make sense for Jiah too to enact this new character and I'm sure she too agrees on this," Ken said.
What has been the impact of the replacement on the film's budget?
"We should be able to ascertain the cost once the film is ready because shooting is just one part of it.
"However, in terms of shooting days, Genelia coming in would only impact around 9-10 days of shooting. These too won't be directly proportional to the cost incurred in our earlier days of shooting. Overall, we have just another 28-29 days of shooting left; so it's not much of a problem after all," Ken said.