Patrick O’ Connor has played Dean Thompson in Home And Away since 2018 and has become embroiled in huge storylines including car crashes, crime and steamy relationships
This week on Home and Away, Dean Thompson is adjusting to learning that his girlfriend Ziggy Astoni is expecting a child.
Due to Ziggy’s decision to keep the child, Dean and she will embark on a completely new path in the Australian serial opera.
The quest for his mother Karen in the spring was not the only significant plot Dean had this year.
He regretted not getting in touch with her after his terrible tragedy, but Ziggy reassured him that his mother would be alright.
Actor Patrick O’Connor’s life has been far less dramatic — but no less entertaining — off-screen than Dean Thompson’s has been since he joined Home And Away in 2018.
Life before Dean Thompson
Although Patrick O’Connor is most recognised for playing Dean Thompson, the actor made his breakthrough in the 2017 coming-of-age movie Girl Falling.
However, since the character was introduced as Willow Harris’ ex-boyfriend, Dean Thompson is affectionately referred to many Home And Away viewers as bad boy Dean Thompson.
The character has been a part of several stories since 2018, including those involving his connection with Ziggy Astoni and his criminal background with Colby Thorne.
In the soap opera, Dean was also involved in a significant car accident in 2021. In an interview with TV Week, Patrick discussed the growth and difficulties of his character, saying: “Last time [he was injured], it was Willow looking after him as a friend, so he was okay with showing her how weak he was.
Ziggy, though, is a different tale. He wants to be the support she needs, but given his current situation, he can’t.
Since then, Patrick has grown to be a favourite among viewers of the programme. He was also nominated for the Digital Spy Reader’s Award for Best Soap Newcomer, but Owen Warner from Hollyoaks won it instead.
Dean Thompson and Ziggy Astoni are now involved in one of Home and Away’s on-screen relationships, but many viewers might be unaware that the actors who play them are also a couple in real life.
Patrick O’Connor, who plays Dean, has been dating Sophie Dillman, who plays Ziggy, for a number of years. Their romance began on the set of the well-known Australian soap opera.
However, the couple had already become friends after meeting in a Queensland acting school eight years prior.
In an interview with TV Week, Sophie Dillman discussed how their relationship came about. She said: “We were work mates first, and it’s helped us work well together now, so we’re lucky in that aspect.
“We are best friends and treat one other that way, but it also strengthened our connection from the beginning.”
Patrick continued, “We are seen by fans if we go out as a couple, but it [fame as a couple] hasn’t altered too much.” Despite the attention the pair receives when they are out and about together, Patrick said it doesn’t influence their relationship.
Although the duration of Patrick and Sophie’s relationship has not been verified, things have already taken a serious turn and the two have moved into a new house in Sydney.
Patrick even shared images of a lovely birthday lunch that he made for girlfriend Sophie on social media during Sydney’s 14-day lockdown in 2021.
Patrick was pictured in the Instagram stories pouring glasses of wine and serving a posh menu while sporting a candy stripe blazer and a straw hat.
Additionally, he posted adorable photos of the couple riding horses together, along with the caption: “”Happy birthday to my top dog. I’m so proud of you and thank you for everything; I couldn’t imagine living this wild life without you.”
‘Embarrasing’ on set moments
On-screen romance between Dean and Ziggy has undoubtedly been on the rise, but Patrick O’Connor has recently admitted that their passionate sequences have resulted in some “embarrassing” on-set incidents.
The actor added that the sequences are shot in extremely hot conditions, leaving the actors frequently “disgustingly sweaty.” Patrick told the Daily Telegraph: “It’s a strange circumstance. When we were filming and it was so hot.
I’m a male, some things make me sweat.
In an interview with WHO magazine, Sophie Dillman stated that she also calls out any other co-stars who have terrible breath during scenes, adding: “If they have horrible breath, you have to call them out!
“I mean, kissing anyone with 60 people standing around staring at you is always going to be weird.”
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