This week on Home and Away, Dean Thompson is adjusting to learning that his girlfriend Ziggy Astoni is expecting a child.
Due to Ziggy’s decision to keep the child, Dean and she will embark on a completely new path in the Australian serial opera.
The quest for his mother Karen in the spring was not the only significant plot Dean had this year.
He regretted not getting in touch with her after his terrible tragedy, but Ziggy reassured him that his mother would be alright.
Actor Patrick O’Connor’s life has been far less dramatic — but no less entertaining — off-screen than Dean Thompson’s has been since he joined Home And Away in 2018.
Prior to Dean Thompson
Although Patrick O’Connor is most recognised for playing Dean Thompson, the actor made his breakthrough in the 2017 coming-of-age movie Girl Falling.
However, since the character was introduced as Willow Harris’ ex-boyfriend, Dean Thompson is affectionately referred to many Home And Away viewers as bad boy Dean Thompson.
The character has been a part of several stories since 2018, including those involving his connection with Ziggy Astoni and his criminal background with Colby Thorne.
In the soap opera in 2021, Dean was also involved in a serious car accident. In an interview with TV Week, Patrick described the growth and difficulties of his character, saying: “He was fine with showing Willow how frail he was because the last time he was hurt, Willow had taken care of him out of friendship.
“Ziggy, though, is a different matter. He wants to be the man she needs, but in his current situation, he cannot fulfil that role.”
Since then, Patrick has grown to be a favourite among viewers of the programme. He was also nominated for the Digital Spy Reader’s Award for Best Soap Newcomer, but Owen Warner from Hollyoaks won it instead.
Dean Thompson and Ziggy Astoni are now involved in one of Home and Away’s on-screen relationships, but many viewers might be unaware that the actors who play them are also a couple in real life.
Patrick O’Connor, who plays Dean, has been dating Sophie Dillman, who plays Ziggy, for a number of years. Their romance began on the set of the well-known Australian soap opera.
However, the couple had already become friends after meeting in a Queensland acting school eight years prior.
Sophie Dillman explained to TV Week how their connection works as follows: “We’re fortunate in that respect because our friendship at work has helped us work well together in the past.
“We are best friends and treat one other that way, but it also strengthened our connection from the beginning.”
Patrick continued, “We are seen by fans if we go out as a couple, but it [fame as a couple] hasn’t altered too much.” Despite the attention the pair receives when they are out and about together, Patrick said it doesn’t influence their relationship.
Although the duration of Patrick and Sophie’s relationship has not been verified, things have already taken a serious turn and the two have moved into a new house in Sydney.
Patrick even paid respect to girlfriend Sophie on social media during Sydney’s 14-day lockdown in 2021 by posting images of a lovely birthday supper he prepared for her.
Patrick appeared in pictures posted to his Instagram story when he served a posh meal selection and poured drinks while sporting a candy stripe jacket and straw hat.
He also posted adorable pictures of the couple riding horses together with the caption: “”Happy birthday, my top priority. Thank you for everything; I am very proud of you and couldn’t imagine living this wild life without you.”
“Embarrassing” set incidents
On-screen romance between Dean and Ziggy has undoubtedly been on the rise, but Patrick O’Connor has recently admitted that their passionate sequences have resulted in some “embarrassing” on-set incidents.
The actor added that the sequences are shot in extremely hot conditions, leaving the actors frequently “disgustingly sweaty.” Patrick told the Daily Telegraph: “It’s a strange circumstance. When we were filming and it was so hot.
I’m a male, some things make me sweat.
In an interview with WHO magazine, Sophie Dillman stated that she also calls out any other co-stars who have terrible breath during scenes, adding: “If they have horrible breath, you have to call them out!
The act of kissing someone while 60 people are gathered around and looking at you is always awkward.