Home and Away’s real-life couple Sophie Dillman (Ziggy Astoni) and Patrick O’Connor (Dean Thompson) are currently playing new parents on the soap, with Sophie ‘giving birth’ last week. Her pregnancy storyline has been filled with twists and turns, and promos suggest the couple are about to embark on a tough time.
While Sophie’s character struggles to connect with her newborn daughter, Sophie assures us that she absolutely “loved” working with the babies on set. Due to strict working conditions imposed by the Children’s Guardian of NSW, their ‘daughter’ was played by multiple sets of babies.
In a chat with Yahoo Lifestyle, she touches on how “nervous” Patrick was during filming, what it was like dealing with unpredictable babies, and admits she’s definitely thought about having babies of her own.
The pair worked with a four-week-old baby for the birthing scene, and there were strict protocols around who could hold him and how long he could work.
“[Patrick] was a bit nervous when we first started handling the babies because we had like, really, really, fresh [babies]. We had a four-week-old when we gave birth, so I think he was a bit nervous about that,” she reveals.
However, she adds that after filming with their various ‘children’, Patrick soon became enamoured with his role as a new dad.
“He was like, bring them all. Get [all the babies] in here,” she quips, before bursting into laughter.
Sophie ‘loves’ playing a new mum
Sophie lights up when she talks about playing a new mum, describing the babies as “so beautiful”. In a surprising insight, she adds that the unpredictable nature of the babies made both her and Patrick’s acting much more natural and real.
“They were so behaved and working with babies is also great because you can’t control what they’re going to do. So you have to be 100 per cent present with them, and working with them the whole time.
“I felt like our acting was great, because it was so real to have a baby that was crying or laughing or grabbing at you…it means you’re really in the moment,” she explains.
The real-life mum of the 4-week-old boy who played Sophie’s newborn daughter recently revealed that her son ‘pooed on Sophie’ during their first onscreen meeting. Both Patrick and Sophie soldiered on with the scene and viewers were none the wiser.
‘I’ve been clucky for my entire life’
Sophie has been open about wanting children with Patrick one day, and working with the adorable babies definitely pushed that thought further to the surface.
“I’ve been clucky for my entire life. Like, that’s no doubt. Paddy loved it too,” she admits. “Every single one of them would come on set and we’d be like, ‘Oh, you’re the cutest!’, and then the next one would come on and we’d be like, ‘No, you’re the cutest!’.”
The star says that working with the babies has been “great”, and believes the storyline is such a “good part” of Ziggy and Dean’s journey.
Plus, Sophie admits that Patrick has been enjoying seeing his girlfriend sport a big fake belly prior to the birth.
“I think Paddy likes me pregnant. He keeps saying it looks good on me. And to be honest, I actually think I look good pregnant too,” she spills.
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