Richa Chadha says outsiders are often advised to date actors and cricketers to create an image at the beginning of their career.
The actor says when she was a newcomer, she was advised to do the same but she refused.
"When I came to the industry, one PR person told me, 'Send a text message to this actor. Go on a date with him'. And I said, 'But he is married!' then this person said, 'Why didn't you send a message to this cricketer? It would have been good for your career, for your PR and public image'," Richa says in an interview.
"I can't date anyone on a transactional basis. These are the kind of advice I used to get, these are the things that people tell you when you are from outside world. That's why I have very few friends in the industry," she says.
Though she made her debut with Dibakar Banerjee's Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, her breakthrough performance was Anurag Kashyap's Gangs of Wasseypur.
Recalling her initial days, the 32-year-old actor says she managed all on her own without an entourage.
"When I did 'Gangs...' I didn't have a manager, a PR or stylist. There were times when I was told that today we have a success party in the evening, and I would be like okay," she says.
"And then I would go to a mall in Juhu, buy a dress, wear it there, go to a salon on the ground floor of that mall, do some make-up; that's how I was managing then," she says.
For Richa, it's these issues which outsiders face - having no one to give a sound advice.
"This is what people don't understand about people who come from outside. We don't have anyone guiding us about these things. We have no inroads into the industry.
"For us at least in the initial stage, there is no grooming, there are no advisors to tell us 'don't do this, or do this', or that this film will get typecast, or this film will be good for you. You just make your own way here, so it takes time," she says.
The actor is currently awaiting the release of her film Jia Aur Jia, where she stars alongside Kalki Koechlin.
Richa says female actors need to have each other's back to have longevity in the industry.
"Women don't realise that they need to promote the category, not the brand. I can't keep talking about myself. If Sonam (Kapoor) is doing well, I have to compliment her, or if Kangana (Ranaut) is doing well, I have to acknowledge it to promote our category, that's how actresses will get longevity," she says.
"Otherwise, we will keep fighting among ourselves and in two-three years, some old daddy will come and say, 'I want fresh faces' and we are out! Actors become disposable. I feel female actors have to back each other." Presented and distributed by Blue Fox Motionpictures, Jia Aur Jia is scheduled to release on October 27. PTI