Yes, telling someone you have a ‘magic finger’ does sound absolutely awful, especially when your kids ask you to show their friends. But Denzel Washington does have a rather interesting issue with his right pinky that just looks absolutely grotesque when you see it in pictures. Apparently it’s something from his football days when he sustained too many injuries to his finger that had to be reconstructed. So at this point if he opens his hand too quickly and too wide it’s possible for his finger to simply bend in a very unnatural way. You can easily imagine how that would freak a bunch of young kids out and possibly even unnerve a lot of adults.
It’s not entirely unheard of however, especially since some people are double jointed and can move their fingers and limbs in ways that others can’t. This isn’t the case with Denzel but if you’ve ever known a person that was double-jointed you’ve likely seen them at least once or twice move their fingers in ways that just doesn’t make sense and looks like it might really hurt. But the truth is that they’re just fine. It does look entirely freaky when a person that’s double-jointed moves one part of their fingers and then another, making it look like something is broken or dislocated. Another honest fact though is that it’s been deemed that there is no such thing as being double-jointed, so we can lay that to rest right now. Instead it’s called hypermobility, a term that describes the increased flexibility of a joint in that it can stretch much further than normal. A lot of people have this and it is a very odd thing to see. But when an injury occurs such as Denzel’s the mobility of the joint is not increased, but it might appear that way.
Instead his pinky finger is simply not right, to put it simply. The finger can bend and contort in such a manner because of the damage it sustained and because it was repaired without locking the joint into place. There’s no doubt that mobility is a big thing, but as Denzel has already said in the clip there’s a reason when you see him apparently wringing his hands sometimes, and it’s that he is trying to make sure that his finger didn’t come loose, so to speak. If he can just open his hand wide and the finger pops out of joint then it means that either something has worn down in his finger or that it was never really constructed that well and is capable of coming loose and flopping about. That’s a disturbing image really since it makes his finger look absolutely boneless, broken, or dislocated. But it’s something he’s apparently grown comfortable with since he’s had to deal with it for so long. One has to wonder if it’s ever happened on film though and we’ve missed it somehow.
Of course now a lot of people might be going back to Denzel’s movies and seeing if they can find a moment when his pinky flops around.