Home & Away Ziggy star teases ‘obstacles’ for Dean as she talks co-star romance

Home and Away fan favourites Ziggy Astoni and Dean Thompson captured the hearts of the nation in their recent storyline, as Ziggy became Dean's carer after his car crash.

With Dean struggling to get back on a surfboard and Ziggy tasked with helping him out, it's a welcome relief for actress Sophie Dillman to face a new storyline with Theo working as an apprentice at the garage.

But Theo's clearly hiding some secrets of his own – will Ziggy get to the bottom of it, and will the pair strike up an unlikely bond?

Actress Sophie Dillman had the scoop exclusively for Daily Star – and teased some bumps in the road for Ziggy and Dean.

Speaking of the change-up in storylines, Sophie explained: "It’s great [to have a change]. I love working with Paddy obviously – he’s a great actor, he had a great storyline and it’s been a really great storyline to flesh out as a carer.

"But it’s always good to mix things up and see different sides of the character. Ziggy, for so long, was trying to help him with his recovery and she was really out of her depth.

"She was trying her best, but she’s certainly not a nurse and she certainly doesn’t have any idea how to handle the physical bit of it, the emotional bit of it – for both him and her.

"So I think seeing her in her zone – comfortable and doing her thing, and being her own person – is really great."

But Sophie warned that "no relationship is perfect".

She went on: "Ziggy’s 25 now – she’s been through those really big developmental years of who she’s going to be as a woman, and now she’s having to think about her future a little bit more.

"Then there's the added thing of Dean being a bit older, and he also has a son. There’s a lot of responsibility there. I think there’s going to be a lot of ebbs and flows and bumps, and everything in between."

But working with her off-screen boyfriend Patrick O'Connor – who plays Dean – is a lot more stress-free, as Sophie dished on how the pair wind down together after a long day filming.

Sophie explained: "It’s not weird doing a non-romantic storyline. The romance is great and really fun to play, but if anyone’s been in a long term relationship they know that’s not what it’s about, and that’s not what it’s like all the time.

"Sometimes it’s just the daily ins and outs of who’s cooking dinner, or 'Do you need help today?'"

And for Sophie, it's a bit of a role reversal – as she admitted in real life, Paddy is an "incredible carer" for her.

Sophie has endometriosis and has bouts of pain so extreme she can't move around much and has to take a lot of medication.

She's undergone three operations for the uterine disorder, according to MailOnline.

She explained to Daily Star: "Being Dean’s carer is a bit of a role reversal in our household because I have endometriosis, and I sometimes have really bad weeks, months, days of pain – and he is an incredible carer for me.

"That’s where that love is – day in day out we’re there for each other. All the little frustrations we have with work or friendships or anything, our families, the pandemic – that’s real life."

And as for switching off from Soapland, Sophie giggled: "If we have a really big day on set, we actually both go very quiet.

"We literally have been known to lie in bed next to each other, totally silent, and one of us will pull up the Uber Eats app, write in what we want, hand it over without speaking and let the other person order what they want.

"We press send and no one says anything until they go and get the order from the front door!"

Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.15pm on Channel 5 and 6pm on 5STAR.

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