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EXCLUSIVE: How Home and Away’s Sophie Dillman and Patrick O’Connor keep work separate from their relationship

 

Nothing excites Home and Away fans more than an on-screen romance that manifests in real life.

So when Sophie Dillman, who plays Ziggy’s boyfriend on Summer Bay, began dating Patrick O’Connor, we knew we were in for a special treat.

While living together and spending 12 hours a day on set with your boyfriend may seem like a recipe for disaster, Sophie tells TV WEEK that it has never been a problem.

“I already knew what he was like at work because we worked together before we started dating,” she explains.

“And he was portraying [Ziggy’s] love interest, so I had to figure out if he was a decent kisser and all that before I actually took the bait,” she jokes.

The 28-year-old actor, who has played Ziggy since 2017, believes separating their personal and professional lives has been surprisingly simple.

“We’ve established some ‘work is work, home is home’ boundaries,” Sophie explains.

“Especially at work, you’re not playing yourself; you’re playing a character.” So it’s not Sophie and Patty who are fighting; it’s Dean and Ziggy. And because we’re so different from our personas, it’s usually fine.”

Private concerns can sometimes follow her and Patrick onto set, according to the 28-year-old, but they always manage to make light of it.

“We joke about how if we fight at home, we have to be joyful on set; that’s the best acting you can do!” She chuckles.

“We’ve been doing it for so long that it’s become the standard.”

Sophie has no plans to leave Home and Away on her own accord when it comes to her future.

The 28-year-old actress, who has been a regular on the programme since 2017, says she will gladly stay until Ziggy is written off.

“It’s when the writers decide they don’t want to write for you anymore.” “It’s not like I declare, “Yep, I’m staying” or “I’m leaving,” she explains.

“At the end of the day, you’re there as a character, not yourself.” The character is written for the actor, and the actor is chosen for the role, not the other way around.”

“However, I’d like to stay for as long as I possibly can; I’m continuously learning every day.” Sophie is content to stay until Ziggy is ready to leave!”

Sophie beams when she talks about her enthusiasm for Home and Away, but working on a fast-paced set isn’t without its difficulties.

 

“There’s no doubt that we work extremely hard. “We shoot a minimum of 10 sequences per day,” she says.

“These are extremely long days, and we all work extremely hard and deserve every vacation we get.” But it’s an outstanding cast comprised of the most kind and passionate individuals.

While the cast of Home and Away are the show’s public face, Sophie believes the crew is what keeps it alive.

“They’re the best of the best,” she exclaims, “and they’re doing three people’s duties that would be compared to a different set.”

“They’ve got things under control.” [Home and Away] has been on the air for 35 years, so it’s a well-oiled machine, and as an actor, all you have to do is slot into the cog, do your part, and keep going.”

Sophie believes that the Summer Bay set is an excellent place for aspiring actors to gain experience in the competitive television and film industry.

“I couldn’t think of a better location for individuals to work because you learn how to use a set, a script, a scene partner, and everything in between,” she says.

“You’re poised and ready to take on whatever comes your way. I have no reservations about being on set. You know what’s going to happen after five years of working 12-hour days.”

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