Patrick O’Connor and Sophie Dillman of Home and Away discuss the touching Dean and Ziggy’s parting scenes as well as Patrick’s one request that was turned down.
As fan favourites Dean Thompson and Ziggy Astoni, Patrick O’Connor of Home and Away and co-star Sophie Dillman, who is also his real-life partner, are all about to leave UK television.
The sudden departure of their characters is brought on by the revelation that Dean’s ex-girlfriend Amber Simmons is relocating to Queensland with his little son Jai.
The couple decides on the spot to move with them after having their own young child.
Patrick claimed that, after spending more than five years on Home and Away, which included romance, breakups, near-death experiences, a long-lost sister, and a few run-ins with the River Boys, he was left with a lasting impression of playing Dean.
Given the length of time we spent there—a good portion of our 20s—it will be difficult to forget about Dean and Ziggy, Patrick said.
“I could still see Dean’s ‘Blood & Sand’ tattoo for a while after that. The fake tattoo left a tan mark on my back because we filmed on the beach, and it took a while for it to go away.
Sophie said that they had plenty of time to prepare for their final goodbye thanks to Ziggy’s pregnancy tale and problems as a new mother: “Having a baby in a storyline is a whole process, so we knew it was going to be our last big storyline,” she said.
“Knowing what was going to happen and how we were going to leave was good, as not many people get that,” Patrick continued. During those last six months, we had to truly sit with it.
Fortunately for fans, Dean and Ziggy will still be able to leave, though Patrick admitted that he did consider pushing for a more startling exit… “I desired Dean’s demise! I wanted to shoot him or something, but the producers told me emphatically “no,” he chuckled.
2018 saw Patrick make his debut as Dean, over a year after Sophie did so as Ziggy. The two actors admitted that they were “lucky” to have spent their formative years on the show and that their final day on site was painful for them both.
“My final day was a scene with Mali Hudson [Kyle Shilling] where I hand over the board shop and I looked at the board shop and got really, really upset out of nowhere,” admitted Patrick.
But since Mali is extremely similar to Dean in many aspects, I believe it was a wonderful idea for Dean to give it to him. Nevertheless, Dean was definitely a special individual.
Whenever she had to do a last scene with one of her co-stars over the past month, Sophie recalled, “I was a hysterical wreck! With Emily Weir [Dean’s sister Mackenzie Booth], I had to perform one sequence that was tough for me to get through.
“We both sobbed the entire time, and the director said we should just shoot it because we need to get it over with. But our farewell was so lovely. Everyone from the workplace came over and spoke.
The couple was able to bring back a few small souvenirs from their time spent in the area.
Patrick confessed, “I got a ‘Ben’s Boards’ sign and someone gave me about ten ‘Blood & Sand’ tattoos,” while Sophie hinted that they also made off with something stranger.
These salt and pepper shakers were on the table at the farmhouse. When Ziggy and Dean were in good spirits, they were facing each other, and when they were fighting, the props were turned away from them, she said. We got to take them at the conclusion because they had been at the farmhouse the entire time.
Patrick and Sophie have relocated to the UK, so they’re not the only ones starting over in a new place with Ziggy and Dean!
Patrick said, “We’ve travelled a lot, and we’re currently in London. We’re thinking of travelling again, and hopefully at some point we’ll get some work over here.”
“We wish to take pleasure in this next chapter, living abroad. We’re not moving too quickly. We’re making every effort to take it all in.
The past six years have seemed to fly by in a whirl of activities, Sophie concurred. “However, the best blur!”