Khan told IANS: "Many big actors and known faces were approached for the film. They loved the script, but they refused it because Sunny belongs from the porn industry. It was very sad that many actors refused to do this film."
After working with Sunny, Khan vouches for her professionalism.
"Her past life was her choice, but in India, people's thinking is still like that...Many actors refused the film... Sunny felt bad and Daniel (Sunny's husband Daniel Weber) told me, 'Next time if you see an actor, I will come with you as I want to tell them that please work with my wife as she is very professional'. I felt very sad," added Khan.
Apart from Sunny, "Ek Paheli Leela" features Jay Bhanushali, Rajneesh Duggal, Rahul Dev and Mohit Ahlawat.
The director hopes Sunny gets an "image makeover" with the film.
"It's a very strong script and I visualized Sunny as Leela," he added.