Sophie Dillman certainly knows her way around a garage as she’s been playing Home and Away mechanic Ziggy Astoni for five years.
But Sophie has revealed that the recent addition of the unpredictable Theo Poulos (Matt Evans) is about to throw the cat among the pigeons!
Ziggy’s boss - and former brother-in-law - Justin Morgan (James Stewart) brought the nephew of girlfriend Leah Patterson (Ada Nicodemou) to work to keep him out of trouble.
Although bringing Theo in was temporary at first, it seems Theo’s about to become a more permanent fixture at the garage after Justin offers him an apprenticeship.
The move unexpectedly triggers Ziggy when Justin hires Theo without discussing it first, Sophie revealed to What To Watch.
“Ziggy spent so long looking after Justin’s shop when he was sick and had an addiction, that she had a lot of weight on her shoulders. She really stepped up to the plate,” shared Sophie.
“So that, along with the insecurity of Justin hiring ‘family’, made her feel like she wasn’t part of his family anymore,
“She was married to Justin’s brother Brody and even though they’re not strictly related anymore, she had a lot of security in that idea.
“When he hires Theo at the last minute with no consultation it makes her feel really disposable.”
In fact, Justin’s move also prompts Ziggy’s anger in that not only has hired Leah’s nephew, he hasn’t even considered taking on another woman. Sophie shared that the storyline is something close to her heart.
“It’s great that we have Ziggy as a mechanic, and a very capable mechanic in an industry where you don’t see a lot of women. But it’s also great to see a woman fighting for other women to have equal opportunities,” she commented.
“It’s important for women to have role models in work. It’s hard to carve yourself a path when there’s no one to potentially guide you or to see in a similar position.
“I’m really grateful that both our producer and line producer at Home and Away, as well as some other of the big names on the production team, are women.
“It’s incredible to see so many women running the floor in a way that I haven’t seen since High School. All of our Principals, Deputy Principals and Heads of Year were women and I grew up thinking that women could do anything.
“Coming out of school was a different story but having women in positions of power, at my acting agency and some of my best female friends who are incredible lawyers, doctors, accountants, economists and everything in between.
"They’re role models and that’s how we change the world.”
After Ziggy gets over her initial anger at Theo’s new position, she realises that he needs a mentor and she puts her reservations aside to help him.
“I don’t know whether she’d ever admit it but she sees a little bit of herself in Theo,” laughed Sophie.
“She was a bit of a lost puppy when she came to Summer Bay and Justin was there for her when she needed him.
“She can see that in Theo. But he’s going to have to work for it. She’s the right woman for the job, as she’s not going to let him get away with anything. She’s harsh but fair!”
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With half a decade under her belt in Summer Bay, does Sophie see herself moving on to pastures new any time soon?
There have been quite a few cast announced as leaving recently, as well as hints about newcomers...
“I love this job! I’m lucky to have it and everyone here works so hard and we create such great television,” she insisted.
“I could potentially stay in the job forever but that’s not necessarily how it always works out. I just want to work as an actor and make great stories as much as I can, if I’m lucky enough to do so.
“We do get some new characters soon and they’re fantastic and will keep everyone on their toes. Fresh meat, new dynamics and new stories.”
Home and Away airs weekdays at 1:15 pm on Channel 5 and 6:00 pm on 5Star followed by a 'first look' episode on 5Star at 6:30 pm.
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