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Sophie Dillman on her tight-knit Home And Away “family” as she champions a cause close to her heart
There’s no denying 2020 has been a year like no other.
But for actress Sophie Dillman, the one constant has been her amazing Home And Away family.
In an exclusive interview with the actor, Now To Love, who plays Ziggy Astoni on the program, he says it was a special moment to be reunited with the cast and crew of the long-running soapie in May after being forced to shut down in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s like a family to spend eight weeks away when we weren’t filming and then come back and see everyone. So it was a real treat to be able to come back together and work together again, especially because we work so hard,” Sophie tells us of the unprecedented eight-week shutdown of Home And Away production in March.
Sophie says that each department of the tight-knit team gets on “like a house on fire,” from the camera crew to the hair and make-up artists.
She says, “We’re all very close and we spend at least 12 hours a day together.”
Everyone on this set gets on like a house on fire, basically. And I’m so thankful because we’d kill each other if we didn’t, “she laughs.”
For Sophie, she has the extra benefit of having to work on the show with her fiance, Patrick O’Connor, who plays Dean Thompson.
“My boyfriend is obviously on set with me and working with him is awesome,” the 27-year-old assures us, before sharing the Channel 7 soapie has also managed to plant the foundations of partnerships with a number of “great girlfriends.”
“Actress muses about her tight connections,” Emily Weir (Mackenzie Booth) and Courtney Miller (Bella Nixon) are two of my very close girlfriends.
In September, the heart-wrenching break-up scenes of Sophie and her real-life boyfriend Patrick’s on-screen characters Ziggy and Dean were aired. And although many supporters suffered from their division, Sophie claims they were able to distinguish the fake plot that had some influence on their personal lives.
“We’re both talented actors, but our mission was to make it the best job we could do and we were very proud of doing that,” says the actress.
And viewers don’t need to fear, because Sophie and Patrick are happier off-screen than ever.
“Together, we are genuinely happy. It’s fantastic,” says Sophie of her friendship with the star.
With Home And Away returning to filming in May under new COVIDSafe measures, Sophie was inspired by the impact of the global pandemic to use her platform to champion a close-to-heart cause.
The retired nurse has collaborated with Lifeblood of the Australian Red Cross and encourages Australians to roll up their sleeves and donate some desperately needed blood or plasma.
Sophie explains, “It is so important and we are so desperate for it in our world.”
“It’s a wonderful way to donate something, especially because there are a lot of people who can’t afford to donate money or things to charity at this period.”
Anyone who donates to Lifeblood will receive a limited edition bandage over the next six weeks, specially made by one of six talented artists: Beci Orpin, Gemma O’Brien, Chris Nixon, Georgia Perry, Kenny Pittock, and Brian Robinson.
The star is inspiring donors to join her in confidently flexing their true colors in their bandages on social media, posting their best “flex” selfies, using the hashtag # LifebloodAU, to help spread the news about the continuing need for blood and plasma donations.
“Actually, this morning I went and donated and got one of my bandages. It’s bright pink, it’s so pretty with orange on it.”