TV

Home and Away's Sam Frost and Sophie Dillman reflect on their biggest year yet

'We support each other.'

They've been on our TV screens less than 12 months. But Home And Away stars Sam Frost and Sophie Dillman have already captured viewers' hearts.

And when we meet the pair for our exclusive photo shoot on Queensland's Gold Coast, it's easy to see why. Strolling on the sand and chatting about their weekend plans, Sam and Sophie are a picture of happiness.

You could almost mistake them for being back in the fictional Summer Bay. But in this instance, there's no drama to be found – and plenty of reason to celebrate.

Sam, 29, and Sophie, 25, have been nominated for the Graham Kennedy Award For Most Popular New Talent at the 2018 TV WEEK Logie Awards.

The talented pair confess they're shocked to be nominated.

"It kind of all just hit me now and I'm a bit speechless," Sophie says. "It's a bit surreal."

For Sam, however, it's the full-circle moment she's been dreaming about since she was a little girl.

"I grew up watching Home And Away and the TV WEEK Logies," the Melbourne-born star says. "When I was younger, I used to fill out my TV WEEK survey and post it – and I always voted for Home And Away.

"So to be part of the show and to be nominated is incredible. I wish I could go back in time and say to little Sam, 'Mate, you wouldn't believe it if I told you!'"

Sam Frost and Sophie Dillman celebrate their Logies nominations.
Sam Frost and Sophie Dillman celebrate their Logies nominations.

When Sophie and Sam arrived on the set of H&A for their first day on the job, they had vastly different expectations for what was to come.

Sophie, a former nurse from Brisbane, was eager to hit the ground running and "happily be told what to do and where to go".

It was her first acting gig, and her excitement at playing the rebellious Ziggy Astoni was through the roof.

"I was just so happy to be there," Sophie says. "There are no egos on set and everyone just gets on with the job."

Sam was slightly more wary about her new venture. After starring on The Bachelor Australia in 2014, she became the subject of a media storm when suitor Blake Garvey dumped her. So her scepticism was high.

Sam also faced controversy when, a year later, she stepped in front of the cameras as the Bachelorette in the first season of The Bachelorette Australia.

"I was quite nervous and didn't know what to expect," she admits. "My agent said, 'Don't worry, the Home And Away cast are like a family'. And I thought, 'Yeah right – you're saying that just so I'm not anxious.'" [Laughs]

Thankfully, her agent was right.

"Everyone was so humble and welcoming," Sam explains.

Sam and Sophie have relied on each other for support.
Sam and Sophie have relied on each other for support.

When it comes to the battle between personal and public information, no-one is more protective than Sam.

This quickly becomes evident when she spots a potential paparazzo lurking in the sand dunes nearby, hoping to profit from an unguarded moment.

For Sam, it's a daily struggle. She's been a target of celebrity-hunting photographers ever since her time on The Bachelor Australia in 2014.

Most recently, she and boyfriend Dave Bashford have been their focus.

"Dave is in the Defence Force, so he has more pressing things to worry about," Sam explains. "He isn't worried by it."

She adds: "I do feel protective, though. I like having an element of my life that's private; it's important to treasure it."

Sam and her partner, Dave.
Sam and her partner, Dave.

Meanwhile, the tabloids have linked Sophie to several of her male co-stars. But she maintains it's just part of the job.

She and boyfriend Ben, who's a rugby union coach, have managed to fly under the celebrity radar. And after living in different states, Sophie is excited to finally have Ben by her side.

"We were apart for two years, so it's great to be in the same place," she says. "It saves me flying back and forth!"

Sophie and her beau, Ben.
Sophie and her beau, Ben.

As we broach the idea of a double date, the women admit they're yet to make it happen.

"Maybe we can double-date at the Logies!" Sam grins.

For more from our interview with Sophie and Sam, pick up a copy of this week's issue of TV WEEK.

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