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 discovered what independence was,” she explained. “Then I landed on Home and Away, where I was still figuring out what it meant to be an adult — with the added strain of potentially being in the public light and how others perceive you. It had been a steep 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.
“I recall being upset or depressed, or taken back and vulnerable… that all happened,” she said. “But I had a fantastic support system.
“One of the first stories about me – I’m not sure if it was the storey or the images – made me quite angry. One of my dear friends, Raechelle Banno (who played Olivia Fraser Richards), gave me a gift and wrote me a note regarding the circumstance.
“I chose to heed to the counsel I’d received from a variety of sources, and as a result, I’ve escaped reasonably undamaged.”
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.