By People Staff
Updated November 18, 2004 06:00 AM

Pierce Brosnan slips into something more comfortable – a scruffy beard and beach clothes – for After the Sunset, a smooth Bahamas heist flick worlds away from the debonair James Bond. But with Salma Hayek as his costar, he’s just as lucky with the ladies as 007. Brosnan, 52, recently chatted about going casual and creating his own paradise.

Did you take this role just so you could work the shabby look?
I decided upon a beard. All these people who do intensive work have got nothing on me.

Salma Hayek looks pretty good in the movie.
I may as well be flossing my teeth while she’s onscreen. “Hello, it’s just me there. I’m with her.”

Why do you like playing the thief?
I love the men who’ve gone out there and taken something. It’s the adrenaline rush. I get the rush doing acting. “How am I going to get away with this?” You have to have that something in a performance.

You’ve said you’re through with James Bond. Do you like the idea now of retiring to an island?
Paradise is an illusion. You can have paradise in London or in any city. You don’t necessarily have to run off to an island.

Will you miss Bond?
There’ll be the missing, but it also comes with a sense of liberation. The yoke has been lifted and I don’t have to be that guy anymore.

And you think Colin Farrell would be a good replacement?
It seemed good the other night in Dublin with a pint of Guinness in my hand. “F—ing Colin Farrell could play f—ing James Bond and have a great time playing the f—ing thing.”

You recently became an American citizen. How’s it so far?
I’m very happy being an American regardless of these elections. … I became an American because, you know, forget about being an artist or an actor and that baloney. I did it because I’m a man. I’m a father. I wanted to have a voice.

Did you have to study for it?
I did. Don’t ask me any questions. I’ve probably forgotten them all. (Laughs)