The former One Direction star was interviewed on London's Capital FM Breakfast show on Wednesday, April 10, and told hosts Roman Kemp and Vick Hope that he had put himself forward for the film after having "lots" of acting lessons.
"Well I did... the first thing I ever auditioned for was for the remake of 'West Side Story' which is being done by Steven Spielberg," he explained. "On my last birthday, I got a message saying, 'You need to go and meet Steven Spielberg on Thursday.' So I had to go and do an audition in front of him, which was quite wild."
Further detailing the experience of meeting acclaimed moviemaker Spielberg, the 25-year-old added: "It was a bit of a cold room I'm not going to lie. It was like all curtained off in like a big warehouse type thing and he just kind of rolled in and was like, 'Liam!' and I was like, 'This is wild.' Like this is the craziest thing I've ever done in my life. But he was super nice."
While Payne didn't get the gig, he managed to get down to the "last five people" for the role. And he insisted he's happy with his achievement - despite not landing the job.
"No, I didn't get it but I was in like the last five people for it which I was quite happy with because it was a difficult - it was a big part in the film," he smiled. "And it was the first audition I had ever done and I put four tapes in and then managed to get to meet Steven Spielberg so it was pretty amazing."
And he isn't letting the rejection impact his hopes of forging an acting career. Asked if he fancies becoming a 'slactor' (a singer and actor), the "Strip That Down" hitmaker replied: "Oooh, I like that."