This study reports a versatile method for the development of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and water-soluble cellulose derivatives (methyl cellulose (MC), hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC), and sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (NaCMC)) films comprising the ionic liquid (IL) 2-hydroxy-ethyl-trimethylammonium dihydrogen phosphate ([Ch][DHP]) for actuator fabrication. The influence of the IL content on the morphology and physico-chemical properties of free-standing composite films was evaluated. Independently of the cellulose derivative, the ductility of the films increases upon [Ch][DHP] incorporation to yield elongation at break values of nearly 15%. An increase on the electrical conductivity as a result of the IL incorporation into cellulosic matrices is found. The actuator performance of composites was evaluated, NaCMC/[Ch][DHP] showing the maximum displacement along the x-axis of 9 mm at 8 Vpp. Based on the obtained high electromechanical actuation performance, together with their simple processability and renewable nature, the materials fabricated here represent a step forward in the development of sustainable soft actuators of high practical relevance.