When Sophie Dillman’s agent called to tell her she’d been cast as Home And Away’s wayward teen Ziggy Astoni, she was washing her vomit-splattered scrubs.
She’s choosing out a gown for the upcoming Australian television awards, the Logies, where she’s a finalist in the most popular actress category, five years later.
Dillman says she “almost passed out” when she learned she was one of five women competing for the honour, which is chosen by public voting.
Ada Nicodemou (Home And Away), Anna Torv (The Newsreader), Deborah Mailman (Total Control), Bojana Novakovic (Love Me), and Kitty Flanagan (Love Me) are among the other candidates (Fisk).
“To be in the same room as any of the other nominees, much alone be nominated alongside them, is such an honour and a privilege.” “I’m hoping to meet them on the night to say, ‘I’m such a great admirer of every single one of you,'” Dillman says, adding that she doesn’t mind being pitted against Nicodemou.
“I’m ecstatic that the show, and someone as successful and skilled as Ada, are getting the recognition they deserve.” I’m ecstatic to be standing next to her.”
In June 2017, Dillman and the rest of the Astoni family — father Ben (Rohan Nichol), mother Maggie (Kestie Morassi), and younger sister Coco (Anna Coquerel) – became the show’s first nuclear family in nearly two decades.
She’ll be the first to acknowledge that she and Ziggy had a difficult start.
“No one knew who I was or whether I could act because I had never worked (as an actor) before,” Dillman explains.
“My entire work as a nurse was to assist others, and then all of a sudden you’re in the public eye, performing on television, and people have decided that they have the right to comment on your appearance and other things.” It’s both alarming and overpowering.”
She claims she was fortunate to have some wonderful people in her corner during those early days to assist her.
“I’m not the first, and I surely won’t be the last, to have all kinds of things said about me, and everyone was incredibly supportive within the organisation” (the show). I also believe it taught me a lot and helped me grow up quickly by showing me what life may be like and how to best manage it for myself.”
She’s taken care of it. Dillman claims that the last five years have completely changed her life. In co-star Patrick O’Connor, who plays Ziggy’s boyfriend Dean, she has found not only a new career but also a new romantic partner.
“We attended the same acting school — Paddy was a year ahead of me – but we weren’t together since we both had other partners at the time.”
“Then, when our characters crossed paths, we crossed paths.” Another significant benefit of Home And Away is this.”
Ziggy is her second great love. Dillman says, “I’ve always appreciated the character because she has an excellent moral compass.”
Ziggy has been married, divorced, watched her entire family move away, and reconnected with Dean and became a stepmum to his son Jai during her five years in Summer Bay. In addition, she has established a thriving job as a mechanic.
As Dillman discusses her character’s unconventional work, it becomes clear that she and her feisty counterpart share more than just a boyfriend.
“I’m no mechanic,” she admits, “but I used to drive a lot of bad automobiles when I was younger and had to know how to fix a few things.”
“I had a flat tyre a number of years ago, and I was changing it by the side of the road – as I had done many times before – when a guy came up to me and was showing off to what appeared to be his date, saying, ‘I’ll do it for you.’
“I told him I was alright, but he responded, ‘I’m going to do it.'” Then, since he put the jack in the wrong location, he drops my car on the axle, leaving me on the side of the road to wait for the RACQ (roadside assistance). I was furious. ‘I could accomplish that on my own,’ I thought. And you had to come in and make the decision to take over, and you ruined everything.”