Methods and devices are provided for actuating and/or articulating a circular stapler. In one exemplary embodiment, a circular stapler is provided having an elongate shaft with a stapling apparatus coupled thereto. An electrically expandable and contractible actuator, such as an electroactive polymer actuator, can be used to pivotally or angularly adjust a position of the stapling apparatus relative to the elongate shaft by delivering energy to the electroactive polymer actuator. In another embodiment, an electroactive polymer actuator can be used to actuate the stapling apparatus, thereby driving one or more staples, preferably in a substantially curved pattern, into tissue. The actuator can alternatively or additionally drive a blade distally to cut tissue being stapled.