Since 2018, Patrick O’Connor has played Dean Thompson on Home And Away, where he has been involved in major plotlines including as vehicle accidents, crime, and torrid relationships.
This week on Home and Away, Dean Thompson continues his hunt for his mother Karen.
He feels bad about not contacting her after the tragic event, but his girlfriend Ziggy Astoni tells him that his mother is alright.
Karen Thompson’s phone, on the other hand, has been unplugged, and things have taken a turn for the worst.
What exactly does this imply for Karen? What will Dean’s reaction be? The audience will have to wait and see what happens.
While Dean Thompson’s on-screen life has been somewhat dramatic since his arrival in Home And Away in 2018, actor Patrick O’ Connor’s off-screen life has been significantly less dramatic – but no less fascinating.
Life before Dean Thompson
Patrick O’ Connor’s most well-known role is Dean Thompson, although the actor made his breakthrough in the 2017 coming-of-age picture Girl Falling.
After his character was presented as Willow Harris’ ex-boyfriend, he became known to Home And Away audiences as bad boy Dean Thompson.
Since the beginning of 2018, the character has been involved in major plotlines, including his connection with Ziggy Astoni and his criminal background with Colby Thorne.
In 2021, Dean was also involved in a major vehicle accident on the soap, with Patrick describing his character’s growth and challenges in an interview with TV Week, saying: “Willow had looked for him as a friend the last time he was hurt, so he was fine with showing her how fragile he was.
“But Ziggy is a different story. He wants to be the man she needs – and currently, in the state he finds himself, he’s not.”
Patrick has now been a fan favorite on the show and was nominated for the Digital Spy Reader’s Award for Best Soap Newcomer, but was narrowly defeated by Hollyoaks’ Owen Warner.
Dean Thompson and Ziggy Astoni are one of the current on-screen relationships on Home and Away, but many viewers are unaware that the actors who play them are really a couple in real life.
Patrick O’Connor, who plays Dean on TV, has been dating Ziggy actor Sophie Dillman for several years, after their affair began on the set of the popular Australian serial.
However, the couple had already become friends after meeting eight years ago at a Queensland acting school.
Sophie Dillman told TV Week about how their relationship is going: “We started out as workmates, which has helped us work well together now, so we’re fortunate in that aspect.
“We are best mates and treat each other like that, but it’s also made our relationship stronger starting out that way.”
Patrick noted that the couple’s celebrity doesn’t damage their relationship, saying, “We get seen by fans if we go out as a couple, but it [famous as a couple] hasn’t altered too much.”
Patrick and Sophie have been dating for an unknown amount of time, but things have already taken a serious turn between them, with the two moving into a new home together in Sydney.
Patrick even paid tribute to girlfriend Sophie on social media during Sydney’s 14-day lockdown in 2021, posting photographs of a nice birthday lunch he planned for her.
Patrick wore a candy stripe jacket and a straw hat while pouring glasses of wine and offering a lavish food buffet in photos posted to his Instagram story.
He also shared sweet snaps of the couple together riding horses, with the caption: “‘Happy birthday to my number one. So proud of you and couldn’t imagine doing this crazy life without you, thank you for everything.”
‘Embarrasing’ on set moments
On-screen, things have been heating up between Dean and Ziggy, but Patrick O’Connor has admitted that their steamy scenes have resulted in ’embarrassing’ on-set encounters.
The actor revealed that the scenes are filmed in very hot weather, which means they are often left ‘disgustingly sweaty’, with Patrick saying to Daily Telegraph: “It’s an awkward situation. When we were shooting, when you’re in that heat.
“I’m a dude, certain things are sweaty.”
Sophie Dillman also revealed to WHO magazine that she calls out any fellow co-stars who have bad breath during scenes too, adding: “You have to call them out if they’ve got bad breath!’
“I mean, kissing anyone with 60 people standing around staring at you is always going to be weird.”