Rooney began writing for Variety in 1991. He became a film reviewer for the trade in 1994. The Australia-born Rooney is new to the New York theatre scene. He only moved to the city in 2003, after stays in Sydney, London and Rome. He would also appear to be new to the world of theatre. Over the last decade, he has covered the major international film festivals for Variety, including those at Cannes, Venice and Rotterdam. He has also managed movie art houses in Sydney and London.