Sophie Dillman of Home and Away has said that the support of her co-stars on the drama has helped her manage the media pressure that comes with being in the spotlight.
Sophie, who has portrayed Ziggy Astoni on Home and Away since 2017, told TV Week that she has changed “hugely” since first joining the show in 2017, claiming she “hadn’t really done any substantial growing as a person yet” when she first arrived to Sydney.
“I found out what independence was,” she said. “Then I landed Home and Away and was still learning about being an adult – with the added pressure of potentially being in the public eye and how people view you. It was a huge learning curve.”
The actress, who is dating her co-star Patrick O’Connor, who plays Ziggy’s on-screen partner Dean Thompson, revealed that when she was distressed by negative media attention, it was her co-stars who provided her the guidance she needed.
“There were defining moments where I remember being unhappy or sad, or taken back and vulnerable… that all happened,” she said. “But I had an incredible support network.
“One of the first articles that came out about me – I don’t remember if it was the story or the photos – but I got really upset. Raechelle Banno (who played Olivia Fraser Richards), who is one of my dear friends, gave me a gift and wrote me a letter about the whole situation.
“I chose to listen to the advice I’d been given from various people and, because of it, I’ve come out relatively unscathed.”
Sophie, now that she is a seasoned member of the soap’s cast, makes it a point to give newer co-stars the same counsel she received, because the guidance she received “saved me” and she is “forever thankful.”
Sophie also mentioned how she strives to be a supportive and positive role model for other women, saying: “I didn’t witness many women helping other women while I was growing up in the 1990s, and I wish I had. It’s inspiring to see women achieve success. It’ll be worth it if I can help just one person.”
Onscreen, Ziggy has been a pillar of strength for Dean as he recovers from terrible injuries incurred in a car accident last year – yet it hasn’t been an easy path for the couple.
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