Home and Away Paddy and Sophies real-life romance – kiss struggles to new home
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Home and Away fans will be delighted to learn that there could be a future for Ziggy Astoni and Dean Thompson.
The couple – who broke up last year – share a sweet kiss this week, which has fans' hearts racing. But, after their initial break-up, which came about after Dean admitting to Ziggy that he'd been there when Colby ended Ross Nixon's life, do Ziggy and Dean stand a chance?
Now Paddy O'Connor, who plays Dean in the hit Aussie soap, has opened up about the future for the couple – and how it feels to reunite on-screen with his real life partner.
He and Ziggy actress Sophie Dillman first met while studying acting together at university, and struck up a friendship despite being in different years.
But romance later blossomed for the pair, made even sweeter by the romance between their Home and Away alter egos.
"We work really well together," Paddy told Daily Star Online. "We have a good chemistry – whether it's because we're dating or not -we can just jump off when we have to."
But filming Dean and Ziggy's reunion was more difficult than the actor first expected, he explained.
"When you haven't done it in a while, it's really different. You forget there are 30 people behind the scenes looking at you, and if you don't [kiss on-screen] for a really long time with someone it is a bit uncomfortable the first time back.
"But obviously, with Sophie it's really easy. It doesn't take long, and it's always funny. I think we're most afraid because it's obviously new again, and that kiss was the first one for Ziggy and Dean in so long. Because we kiss every day, the tricky bit sometimes is to make sure you recreate that first kiss properly," he added.
But filming their reunion was "exciting", says Paddy. "I think the viewers felt the way we wanted them to throughout the whole story arc. It was fun to film!"
Switching off from work is easy for the couple, Paddy explained.
"We're both pretty good – when we leave work, we just leave work. We both understand that. We trained at the same university so we've pretty much done the acting journey together over the years.
"Where we live – we just recently last July moved into a place together – it's a totally different world when we get home."
The star added: "We're nothing like Ziggy and Dean, so it's pretty easy to say goodbye because we're pretty much the polar opposites of our characters!"
Pressed on any similarities he can draw between their characters, Paddy mused: "Ziggy is really outgoing and she can be assertive, a go-getter. I think Sophie's a bit like that from time to time.
"My similarities to Dean… we're both really Australian!" he quipped. "I'm probably the last person who would resort to pushing someone or anything, so in that sense we're polar opposites."
But will Ziggy and Dean's romance make it despite their earlier break-up? Paddy had this to say: "Where Dean stands at the moment, he's kind of accepted that this is the way things will be for the foreseeable future.
"I think he's just trying not to be overly optimistic. He really tried to get Ziggy back after the whole murder thing came out and they split up. He really gave it a shot. And when that didn't work, he still loves her but he accepted they're never going to happen."
Paddy went on: "He's become really broken, so looking for a partner wasn't really on the cards. I think he's happy teaching surfing lessons. He's a really simple guy like that, but at the moment he's holding off from getting too hopeful."
But things certainly won't be smooth sailing, as Home and Away is set to end on a huge car crash cliffhanger.
Dean sets out with Mia to find Nikau, but while the trio are travelling back together, a kangaroo bounces out in front of the car.
A flustered Dean swerves to avoid it, but the move causes the car to launch off the steep hill and roll down the embankment – throwing Nikau from the car.
The vehicle finally comes to a halt, teetering on the edge of a cliff with no sign of life inside the wreckage.
And with Mia pregnant, Paddy teased some "devastating" news for her and partner Ari: "There's a really long recovery. There's some pretty devastating news for Mia and Ari, and it's pretty up and down for Nikau in the days after the crash."
Paddy also reflected on the "trauma" Dean feels after reliving yet another car accident after the one that occurred before his arrival in the Bay.
"It's incidentally similar, Dean was in a crash I think seven years before? Before he got to Summer Bay, he was in a pretty heavy car crash, so it's quite similar to that. His pelvis has cocked a bit of a big hit, so there'll be a long recovery.
"When it comes to rehab, or in general people telling Dean what to do, he has a really hard time just listening. So long-term recovery, learning how to walk again and get that basic movement back is going to be quite a process and I do believe he's a bit hesitant because he'll need pain relief at times.
"I think he fears that in his bloodline, that doesn't work too well."
- Home and Away
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