NEW YORK — In real life, actor James Wolk is a new dad enjoying fatherhood and family time, but on the CBS summer drama “Zoo,” he’s trying to save the human race from mutant animal hybrids.

“I’m embracing it,” the 32-year-old actor said of adjusting to life after the birth of his son. “I’m also in love with him. You just figure it out.”

“Zoo,” now in its third season, has jumped 10 years to 2027. A cure to tame the wild animals attacking humans in the first two seasons has been found, but it has sterilized the human race.

And there are genetically modified, razor-backed hybrids wreaking havoc on the West Coast.

Wolk’s character, Jackson, a zoologist, is trying to help people escape the area.

He talked about “Zoo” and his family life in a recent interview with The Associated Press.

Associated Press: How has “Zoo” separated itself from the James Patterson novel that the series is based on?

Wolk: The story of ‘Zoo’ that James Patterson wrote, we’re so beyond that because he wrote a book and we’re three seasons in, so they’re just creating a new story all the time. And what’s happening in season three is there’s this fertility problem — no one can have a baby or has had a baby in 10 years. And my character, Jackson, is on the West Coast of the United States where these hybrid animals, you know, these kind of ‘Jurassic Park’ lab-made creatures, have taken over and the West Coast of the United States is really like it’s kind of apocalyptic. There’s no civilization, people are just in hiding, so I’m helping these people almost like refugees get to these safe zones.

AP: How has your character changed since season one?

Wolk: When you meet Jackson in season three, he isn’t really that wide-eyed boy we met in season one, he’s more of a man, he’s a little bit more hardened by life, and that was really fun to play, too; I mean that was the cool thing about the 10-year reset. I think the writers just said, ‘OK, what are the best parts of the show, what are the best parts of these characters, let’s just throw that all together and use the 10-year jump as an excuse to make it as big it can be,’ so Jackson has been really fun to play this year.

AP: There are memes out there of your “Mad Men” character, Bob Benson. Have you seen them?

Wolk: My friends sent that to me. I think that’s their favorite pastime, the guys I grew up with, is to send ridiculous memes of myself to me, but the Bob Benson one carving a turkey is a good one.

AP: Your wife isn’t in entertainment. Do you like having that break from Hollywood in your home life?

Wolk: I love the entertainment business but also love having time to get away from it as well. It is nice having my partner in crime, my wife, not of that world, and so we can just easily talk about other stuff and shift focus to other things.

AP: Is your wife impressed by Hollywood?

Wolk: She has a healthy relationship with this world. She’s excited for me. She’s happy for me, but she’s not in awe of it.