Plus, how Sophie feels about turning 30.
On the white-stone paradise of Mykonos, Greece, Sophie Dillman didn’t have a care in the world.
Following COVID-19, the actress had a long-awaited vacation to Europe with her boyfriend, Home and Away co-star Patrick O’Connor, taking up the sights, the culture, and the sun.
But when they shared their experiences online, they received a deluge of messages from admirers and friends who had noticed something odd: her left hand was hardly ever visible in the pictures.
As the story gained national attention, engagement rumours started to circulate widely.
But is it true?
“Oh I know!” Sophie says laughing when TV WEEK mentions the hype. “There are so many comments on our photos that [suggest] I was hiding my left hand everywhere.
“Even coworkers perceived us as enthusiastic. However, I assure you that there is no engagement and the hand is bare. Let’s dispel this rumour. Please. [laughing]”
In actuality, the couple, who play Ziggy and Dean in the long-running soap, aren’t hastily getting married just yet. While approaching her 30th birthday, Sophie is still figuring things out.
“It was a dark day,” she jokes of reaching her milestone. “It all accumulated, and I got really overwhelmed. [I thought] ‘After 29, am I dead now?’ Which of course isn’t true but leading up to it, I was nervous!
“I’m undoubtedly going through a crisis, but many people have experienced something similar, and suddenly your priorities change. I’m in the zone right now where I’m trying to figure out what the f* is going on!”
Although Sophie retreats, she is aware that Patrick, who is approaching his 30th year, is there to encourage her. “I’m ready to support his path!” she quips. We’re fortunate since we complement one another.
In 2022, Sophie marked her fifth year of playing Ziggy with a TV WEEK Logie Award nomination for Most Popular Actress. (Image: Instagram)
The same can be said of their professional life as their on screen counterparts journey into parenthood.
Speaking of jumping the gun, yes (laughter)! states Sophie. “Since Paddy and I don’t have any immediate plans to start a family, it’s been a lot of fun pretending to be pregnant.
“When you don’t experience something yourself, it doesn’t seem real to you. In my case, I had to pretend to experience it. The challenge has been pleasant, though.
“Because young parents watch our show, it’s crucial to depict the difficult dialogues that must be part of parenting on TV. I became more aware of and grateful for the amount of work and responsibility parents bear.”
Yes, in terms of jumping the gun (laughs)! Sophie says. “It’s been a lot of fun pretending to be pregnant because Paddy and I don’t have any imminent intentions to start a family.
“Something doesn’t feel real to you if you haven’t personally experienced it. I had to pretend I was going through it. However, the task has been enjoyable.
“It’s important to reflect the painful conversations that must be a part of parenting on TV because young parents watch our show. I grew more appreciative of and conscious of the workload and responsibilities parents shoulder.”
The topic of turning points keeps coming up, and the thought of whether Sophie is prepared to leave Home and Away arises. She claims that “other people’s hands” hold her future. She is thus focusing on the present, much like the Mykonos sky.
“The entertainment sector is really erratic. You are depending on others wanting to collaborate with you. You must be chosen for a part, “she claims.
“So my motto is to do as well as I can and work as hard as I can in the position I’m in. For me, focusing on the present is the way to go.”