The 'Transformers' star admits he needed "a tough coach" when he went to work with the director on 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps', and Oliver provided him with that when he put down Tom Cruise.
According to website Absolute Now, Shia said: "The first meeting I had with Oliver he looked me in the eye and he said, 'Don't worry, Tom Cruise wasn't an actor before he met me either.
"I needed that. I needed a bit of a tough coach and I needed a bit of coddling."
Shia has previously admitted his acting skill was not always up to scratch - he recently claimed he "dropped the ball" when working on 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull'.
He said: "I feel like I dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished.
"You get to monkey-swinging and things like that and you can blame it on the writer and you can blame it on Steven Spielberg, who directed. But the actor's job is to make it come alive and make it work, and I couldn't do it. So that's my fault. Simple."