The 24-year-old actor was nervous about starring alongside the Hollywood legend in 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps', but says the 65-year-old screen icon quickly put him at ease in his own way.
He said: "Michael was the most welcoming face I met coming into the process. He wasn't coddling or hand-holding, but a punch in the arm coming out of rehearsal was what I needed, or I would have floundered and crumbled."
He explained to USA Today: "Oliver wasn't one to give compliments. Oliver has a very specific grooming process with actors, and it's very demanding and challenging, and it's full freight. It's a blow-you-up-to-build-you-up thing."
However, Shia admitted the director's tough love strategy worked and the pair have now become close.
He said: "Nobody makes movies like Oliver Stone. He was a coach and a father figure and a best friend and a rock. He was my everything."